Ask Amy: Grandparents Sent a Judgment Note Instead of a Gift Years Ago, But It Still Stings

Dear Amy: A few years ago, my in-laws sent a birthday card to my (then) young adult daughter. Normally this would have included a monetary gift or gift card. However, when she opened it, there was just a note saying there would be no freebies, as they disagreed with what she was hoping to spend some of her money on. birthday (a tattoo).

The words were hurtful and brought my daughter to tears, which woke up the mama bear in me.

I told my husband he needed to talk to his parents and ask them to apologize. He didn’t understand what the problem was.

I didn’t care about a gift, but their note was hurtful and I felt my daughter deserved an apology from people who should love her, regardless of their personal beliefs.

He thought I should call them because I was more upset than him. I told him that I wouldn’t be able to control my temper.

He never told them anything, even though I asked him many times.

Although I know my in-laws love us, they are much more distant – emotionally and physically – than the rest of our family.

My daughter is now planning her wedding. Due to ongoing health issues, I’m not sure if they’ll be there, but I want us all to be ready.

Should I urge my husband to tell them how they hurt our daughter? Should I? Or should I just do my best to hide my feelings under the rug and try to forget them?

Our daughter hasn’t forgotten, as it’s a running joke whenever she gets a card from someone.

– Mama Bear

Dear Mama Bear: Your husband’s parents were judgmental and mean, but it’s their responsibility!

Their harsh judgment probably made their granddaughter suspicious of them. Again – this is a consequence of their choice.

I appreciate that it’s become kind of a running joke for your daughter, because that’s where I think this incident belongs. (For example, if she receives a big envelope in the mail: “Ooh, come see mommy! I smell the tattoo money!”)

What I don’t understand is why it’s your husband’s job to confront his parents about behavior that doesn’t seem to surprise him in the least.

This incident happened several years ago. Your daughter is of age. If she wants to try to sway some kind of resolution (for herself), she could reach out to them: “That birthday you refused to send me a gift because you thought I might spend it on a tattoo – it really hurts ! I felt like I had fallen several ankles in your affection for me, and I’m afraid we never really recovered.

My advice to you is – yes – do your best to accept their limitations as people and as grandparents.

If you accept them as imperfect people who just aren’t very good at accepting and loving grandparents, you won’t have to confront them or forgive them.

And always – treat them as you would like them to treat others.

Dear Amy: My wife and I are struggling to plan the summer with and for our children. Quite simply, we don’t know if a COVID variant can emerge and derail all of our best-laid plans.

Your suggestions?

– Organized Dad

Dear Dad: Make your plans, assume everything will be fine, and be prepared for possible changes.

And – I don’t want to be “that guy”, but please keep in mind that there are families torn apart by war and other natural and man-made events that don’t even have the privilege to make plans.

Your family – and mine – can handle a change of plans most prepared, and that in itself is something to be extremely grateful for.

Dear Amy: I am replying to the letter from “I miss her”, the pregnant woman whose sister-in-law recently lost a baby. SIL was now finding it difficult to attend baby-centric events, such as showers and birthday parties.

I lost my toddler son to a drunk driver 40 years ago.

Like his sister-in-law, it was simply unbearable to be around a pregnant person. Anyway, your advice on advice etc. are correct.

Kindness and patience are essential here because all of these feelings and emotions are still quite tender and raw.

I believe that over time this relationship will change and everything will be fine.

– Was there

Dear Been There: This question has prompted many parents who have suffered the loss of a child to show their support.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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