Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grandparents want house rules for extended stay

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Grammy: I lived with family members during my first year of college, and I will always look back on that time with extreme gratitude. I also wonder if I did enough while I was with them to ease their burden for housing, feeding, and basically taking such good care of me.

All of your expectations are reasonable, but I suggest that you take them in reasonable stages. Focus on the transportation issue first, because that will enable her to get herself back and forth to work.

After she moves in, negotiate a reasonable nighttime curfew, and emphasize that she should contact you if she is running late (this is an extremely important safety issue for a new commuter who might be working shifts).

Communicating about these practical matters is vital; and you and she should also have regular “family meetings” where you can all bring up matters relating to the household.

Don’t hover over her too closely, and understand that she (and you) will occasionally fail.

Don’t only raise those issues where there is room for improvement, but also acknowledge the important transition she is making.


Dear Amy: My husband and I are 49 and 50 years old.

The past 18-month period has been psychologically, physically and especially financially hard on us.

My husband got injured at work, and I lost my job.

We decided to cash in our 401(k) plans and consider being retired.


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