Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Grandmother wants to 'school' son and wife

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I have nothing against tennis. Our daughter plays several sports and we cheer her on. Our son, however, is not sports-oriented. He loves to hike, be active and play guitar. We cheer him on equally. If she'd asked, I would have loved to have her help in paying for his guitar lessons.

My mother-in-law loves competition and sport, especially golf and tennis. I know she would like to connect with her grandkids this way. She has given our kids tennis rackets in the past. They just don't seem to have an interest in tennis or golf, and our parenting style is to let our kids choose their activities.

How do I respond to a tone-deaf gift that is more about what she wants than what he wants? And also respond to the slight I feel that she got him a gift she knew in advance I wouldn't like?

-- Taken Aback

Dear Taken Aback: Your mother-in-law knew that you wouldn't like this gift, but I assume she is hoping that your son would like it.

He should thank his grandmother for the gift and give it a try! If tennis doesn't turn out to be his thing, you can tell your mother-in-law, "I know it can be hard to find ways to connect with the kids; 'Bradley' is really into music lately, so he might enjoy guitar lessons. If you ever want a recommendation, feel free to ask."

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)

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