Life Advice



Ask Amy: Stepchild would like for dad to leave stepmom at home

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My psychologist friend told me to conduct an experiment: For Christmas, write a $1,000 check to each. If they call or text a thanks, that is a plus. If they don't acknowledge their gift, then all gifts from you should STOP.

Well, I received the usual thank you call from the 33-year-old, and nothing from the other two!

I know I will get flak from my daughter if I stop giving.

Should I keep "donating" or just not give any future gifts?

– Generous Gran

Dear Gran: Your friend provided you with a useful (and expensive!) test. What you have learned is that no matter the size of the gift, two of your grandchildren will not see fit to thank you.

If you don’t give money to your two ungrateful grandchildren, it doesn’t mean that you love them any less. It just means that there is a natural consequence to their own behavior.

You could tell them, “I’m a little embarrassed that you don’t seem to value the gifts I’ve given you over the years. I accept that – and so I’ve decided to stop.”

Dear Amy: I hated your response to “Concerned in DC.” This person was worried about his wife’s “negativity” due to political differences.


Please, Amy, keep your politics to yourself. I read this column for entertainment, not to be lectured by you.

Former Reader

Dear Reader: “Politics” seems to have surfaced recently as a point of conflict. That’s why I cover the topic in my column.

I have reviewed my response to “Concerned” with a finely pointed pencil – never once do I mention my own political point of view.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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