My niece, who is single and 36, has just this year purchased a small house. She’s employed full time and is making a decent wage. I’ve noticed that she rarely visits or calls her grandmother (my mom) except near her own birthday and Christmas. Whenever she does visit, she always asks my mother for money. Once it was for $18,000 for school (my mother said no), and this last time it was for $4,000 for a new roof. This time, my mom took her to lunch, tried to give her suggestions on how to save for it, and explained she unfortunately couldn’t loan her the money. Later in the week, my brother called me, furious that my mother “offered to lend the money and then backed out.” Then he said, “It’s not like it’s a whole lot of money, or that it would be missed.”
I was appalled. My reply was, where does my niece get off asking her grandmother repeatedly for large sums of money? She’s been “loaned” money before and hasn’t paid it back. She’s employed and capable of saving money, so why is she calling her dad to complain that her grandmother isn’t giving her Christmas bonuses? And why doesn’t her dad give her a loan? He makes good money too. I realize it’s not my problem to solve, but my mom is quite upset and a tad heartbroken that her granddaughter and her son are treating her like a special go-to piggy bank. I’ve tried to comfort my mom but don’t quite know what to say to help her.