3/21/2022 | By Amy Dickinson

Frustrated grandmom wants to see the grandkids more and does not understand why her daughter and son-in-law dont visit more. See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson says in this installment of “Ask Amy.” 

Dear Amy:

My husband and I are good parents and grandparents.

We are always available when needed and our relationship with our daughter and her husband is pretty good.

The problem is that they never come to our home, even though they live only 45 minutes away. Additionally, every time I have suggested that we take a family vacation together (one that I would pay for), they react with negativity.

I think her husband has some social issues, but he acts fine when we visit them for a few hours.

We are not young and being with our grandkids is the highlight of our lives!

I think that our daughter believes that “family” is just the four of them.

We try to respect her rules and boundaries, but her behavior is very hurtful. We just want to see the grandkids more.

Any suggestions?

Tired of Trying

Dear Tired:

Frustrated grandmother Photo by Svyatoslav Lypynskyy Dreamstime

I realize that some families take three-generation vacations, but for many hardworking parents, a vacation entails actually leaving extended family in place, while they break new ground and create memories with their children.

(And yes, once parents have children they form a nuclear family with their kids, and their siblings and parents become part of their extended family.)

Once COVID restrictions ease, you could explore the idea of taking your grandchildren on an Elderhostel retreat. These educational programs are designed for grandparents to enjoy alongside their grandkids. Check for adventures ranging from exploring Yosemite to seeing Broadway shows in New York City.

If the children are too young, or if this idea is too daunting, you might start smaller and see if your daughter and her husband are willing to relinquish the children for a weekend “staycation” at their home while the parents enjoy a brief getaway. If that goes well for everyone, you can venture further afield, possibly hosting overnights at your home. You can see the grandkids more while still respecting their parents decisions.

Related: Skip-gen travel – bonding with grandkids on the road

10 ways to entertain the grandkids when they visit

Engage with grandkids in the kitchen

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from when a spouse demands immediate attention to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. 

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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