Dear Answer Mom: Our daughter is marrying a man of a completely different religion. He insists that any children they have be brought up in his religion. She’s agreed to that although she assures us that she herself won’t convert. But since those children will be of a different religion from ours what does that make us as the grandparents? -Upset-
Dear Upset: It makes you the grandparents of your daughter’s children.
Dear Answer Mom: My daughter, age 25, has started to drink a lot. The other night she got into a big fight with her older sister who was telling her she’s an alcoholic. I stopped the fight and I’ve been trying to convince my daughter to go for help especially since my three-year-old granddaughter lives with her. She’s separated from her husband who also drinks. I’ve tried to be supportive to her but she won’t do anything. What’s the best way to get her to stop –Libby
Dear Libby: First you have to stop! Stop being so supportive to her. She has to see some bad results from her drinking. Tell her you love her and because you do you won’t help her with anything or be there for her in any way unless and until she recognizes her problem, goes into rehab, joins AA and becomes a recovering alcoholic.
Warn her that she’s putting her daughter in jeopardy–and if there’s any sign she is you have to get the child away from her and you will–now. Be there for that granddaughter who needs some sober nurturing. Tell your other daughter to stop arguing with her because that only makes her defensive. Both you and your other daughter should call the nearest AA chapter and find out about support groups for relatives of alcoholics. They can give you some good advice on how to handle your relationship with your daughter.
Dear Answer Mom: My two grown sons – in their 20s – came to visit when their father was having surgery. They don’t get to see each other very often and spent a lot of time together having long private talks. When I asked each one about the other they each looked at me like I’m some kind of fool. I want to know about their lives but they hardly talk about themselves. I thought if I asked one about the other I could find out how things really are for them. Is it just because they’re males that they won’t talk or am I doing something wrong? –Toby
Dear Toby: Imagine. Those two sons think they’re grown men! They don’t know that they’re still your little boys. Let go Mom. It’s hard I know but accept the fact that each will only tell you what they think you should know. Stay busy with your life and then when they ask you for details you can decide what to tell them. So ask them no questions and they’ll tell you no lies and you can still love each other.
Questions for the Answer Mom? Send them to Helen Oxenberg, MSW, ACSW at Helen@mothering21.com.