Annie’s Mailbox: How do I help my 9-year-old grandson?
January 29, 2010
Dear Annie: My 40-year-old daughter has had behavioral and psychological issues her whole life. In recent years, she has behaved very irresponsibly — drinking, doing drugs, fighting with her family, becoming unemployed and spending too much money. Last year, she and her husband filed for bankruptcy and lost their home. The police have even been to their house for domestic violence issues. My 9-year-old grandson is subjected to all of this.
I have funneled thousands into this dilemma and have been treated with a lack of gratitude and respect. I finally blew my stack and told my daughter how I felt about her behavior. Now she won't allow me or anyone in my family to see my grandson. What do I do?
— At My Wits' End
Dear Wits' End: Depending on your state, you might be able to sue for visitation. If you choose to go that route, please seek legal counsel. You might also consider trying to get custody of your grandson if the parents are as unfit as you portray them. However, in most instances, the best recourse is to reconcile with the parents.
Your daughter is a mess, and it doesn't help her or your grandson if you scold her and become estranged. Please do whatever you need to in order to get back in her good graces so you can keep an eye on your grandchild. He needs a stable person in his life.
Dear Annie: You printed a letter from "Ring-a-Ding," the lady who had been married for 20 years and resented the "cheap" engagement ring with the tiny diamond that her husband bought her when they first married.
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My husband and I are nearing the 40-year mark and have accumulated a great deal of money in assets. Although he has bought me many expensive pieces of jewelry, none of them means as much to me as my $8 wedding band. That symbol of where we started stands for 40 years of love, struggles, ups and downs, and our enduring faith in each other.
— Happily Married
Dear Happily: Thank you for saying that it's the quality of the love, not the size of the ring that counts.