Dear Grandparenting: I pay my two grandchildren to help out around the house. They can do in one hour more than I can do in ten. My grandson is 10 and my granddaughter is 12.
It pains me to admit this but one or both is a thief. In the annals of crime, it’s no biggie. I’d guess they’ve gotten me for about $150 over the last six months. I haven’t caught them with money in their hand, but there are just the three of us in my house when my money vanishes.
It’s like a cat and mouse game. I know someone is watching and waiting so I have to hide my cash inside books. But now that I’m on to their little game, I’m thinking it’s best to just keep my mouth shut.
Number one, it might pit the grandkids against each other. Two, it might destroy any chance that I’ll have a satisfactory relationship with one or both grandchildren. Third, how will their parents (my daughter) take this news? Will they resent me for making a big deal about it? Will they even believe me?
It bothers me to turn the other cheek on this. But after thinking it over, it might well stir up more family trouble than it’s worth. How would you play this one? Barrie Sommer, Sparta, New Jersey
Dear Barrie: Taking the issue by the horns is precisely what we’d do, regardless of the risk of alienating or discomforting other family members. To our way of thinking, it’s what a responsible grandparent does.
Act on your reasonable suspicions and lay it out for the parents. Assuming your daughter and son-in-law have any moral backbone, they’ll want to get right to the bottom of this. Who wants to feed the hand that steals from within?
It’s high time for an intervention here. Steal $150 from family and all may be forgiven, assuming one straightens up. Steal $1,500 and they could be calling you a felon some day.
Grand remark of the week
Jimmy Smith from Marshall, Michigan reacted quickly after grandson James whacked younger brother Jimmy during their video game.
“Don’t let me see you hit your brother like that again,” he said sternly.
“OK, I’ll hit softer,” said James.
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.