Wedding Woes

I don't think there's a right or wrong here.

Dear Prudence,

Whose responsibility is it to mediate grandparent-adult grandchild relationships? My mother (80 years old, still very mentally sharp) complains to me at least a few times per month that none of my adult children (ages 21, 24, 26) call her. When I inquire further, it seems that she will sometimes call them out of the blue, they’ll pick up, speak for a few minutes, then say they have to go and the call is over. My mother is hurt that she’s always the one initiating and that my children don’t talk for a longer period of time. On one hand, I understand her perspective. She is often lonely throughout the day and I do imagine it would be hurtful to get excited for a conversation with a grandchild only for it to be called off after five minutes.

On the other hand, looking at this from my children’s perspective—they have very little in common with their grandma (politically, religiously, etc.) but still pick up the phone when she calls, even if she has not given them a heads-up that she’ll call. They politely have a short conversation and then continue with their day. I have always taught them that even though they don’t have much in common with their grandma, she’s family and they should be polite/kind. And in my eyes, they’re following through on this! I don’t think I can fault them. What do you say?

—Should Grandma Be Grateful Her Grandchildren Call at All?

Re: I don't think there's a right or wrong here.

  • edited February 8
    You’re fine, but maybe teach your mom how to text and suggest she set up time to talk rather than calling out of the blue. That way everyone knows when the call is happening. Doesn’t guarantee it will bc longer than 5 minutes but she has a better shot than calling in the middle of the work/school day. 
  • I think the LW should nudge a little on each side, but not get too involved.

    Explain to the mother it's better to text or arrange a call.  But also tell their children that it would mean a lot to their grandmother if they would initiate contact sometimes.

    If grandma gets the hang of texting, she'd probably love her grandkids sending her one of the pics they are probably taking all the time.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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