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?