Life Advice



Ask Amy: Father feels undermined over FaceTime

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I'm all for grandparents spoiling grandkids, but when my daughter is throwing food on our floor and grandma says, "It's OK — make your parents clean it up" I want to ground grandma.

Your suggestions?

– Nervous

Dear Nervous: Keep your cool. The calmer and more consistent you are, the more effective your response will be.

If your mother-in-law directly countermands you, and if you are certain she isn’t just being playful, you can say, “Oops. I’m going to have to stop you. We are her parents and we need to make the rules for her, even if you don’t agree with them. Can you help us out here and not contradict us?”

She may say, “Oh, I’m only joking, don’t take this so seriously.” And you can respond, “I get it, but we’re trying to be consistent, and her sense of humor isn’t quite developed yet.”


Dear Amy: My sister has been with her fiancé for four years.

They live together and plan to marry in July. This will be the second marriage for both. They’re in their 50s, and both have grown children.

They live in a wonderful city and enjoy a nice lifestyle, playing tennis, traveling, etc. He is a doctor and she, a corporate recruiter.

My sister couldn’t be happier, as her previous marriage was full of grief and frustration.


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