Dear Grandparenting: Mimi is my daughter and only child. She is a career girl who put in long hours and climbed into retail management. Her job was her life, so I was thinking that I’d never have grandchildren,
Then she fell in love with a man she met at an industry conference. He had two daughters (ages 11 and 13) from his first marriage. Mimi got married eight months ago. That’s when I inherited two step-granddaughters.
Things could be better. Mimi and her new guy argue about money, mainly how good the two step-granddaughters are at spending it. Maybe the kids think money grows on trees.
I cannot begin to understand why he ever allowed all that spending to start with. It kills me seeing Mimi so sad. She is proud and independent and never asked me for financial help. I have two choices. Do I butt out or step up and write her a check? Golden Girl, Sidney, OH
Dear Golden: It taxes us to imagine a more emotionally loaded topic among newlyweds than the behavior of stepchildren.
Grandparents (and those with adult children) stand a reasonably good chance of becoming step-grandparents. Nearly 45 percent of all marriages involve one previously married partner, two-thirds of which already have children.
Like many step-grandparents, your loyalty lies with your flesh and blood. But while the husband bears the greater share of responsibility, your daughter is also open to criticism. Since she’s a manager, why didn’t she work out guidelines to manage the family budget before the marriage? What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Starting married life without establishing a plan for existing child expenditures is harebrained. Grandparents who intervene with financial aid often miscalculate the costs. By enabling the financial dysfunction to continue, they may set themselves up for long-term support of adult children and their dependents.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Aaron Kozlov from Tucson, Arizona, was chatting with grandson Ricky about what he wished for.
“I wish I had a really big family, with three brothers and three sisters,” said Ricky.
Aaron asked Ricky if he told his parents that.
“Sure. They sit there and laugh.”
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.