6/27/2022 | By Amy Dickinson

When generosity to her adult grandchild after a tragedy was met with a “snippy, self-absorbed” response, grandmom is angry and at a loss how to respond to the rude grown grandchild. See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

My 26-year-old grandchild “Sal” (and roommates) lost everything in a fire earlier this year. I reached out through Facebook to lament their loss, and many of my friends responded through donating money generously.

The (quite substantial) check was made out to me. They instructed me to handle it any way I thought best.

I contacted Sal and asked how I should get them this money. The response was that they would pick it up sometime in the future from their parents and would share it with roommates.

I know that this young adult is in dire financial straits right now, so I remarked something to the effect that I knew that Sal could probably use the money sooner rather than later.

The response from Sal was: “Please do not give me unsolicited financial advice again. I’m very busy with this gig and can’t help you to set up Venmo. If you can cash the check and give it to my parents, I’ll pick it up from them sometime in the next few weeks.”

I responded (sarcastically) that I was sorry to have offended, and that I could assure Sal that it would never happen again.

Sal responded, “Thank you!” (Obviously the sarcasm went right over their head.)

I truly don’t know what to do. I’m offended by the snippy, self-absorbed response; by the rudeness of it to anyone, particularly a grandmother.

I put the money into my savings account.

I admit I am very angry. To add insult to injury, Sal has never written one thank you email to any of my friends who donated to these funds, despite my sending along their email addresses.

Please give me some guidance here. I’m torn between family duty, and giving this young person a lesson they’ll not forget.

Offended Gran

Dear Gran:

You could play this two ways:

thoughtful mature woman on sofa with laptop - photo by Fizkes, Dreamstime. Grandmom is angry and at a loss how to respond to an ungrateful, rude grown grandchild. See what Amy Dickinson advises in “Ask Amy.”

Don’t respond at all, and don’t do anything, forcing “Sal” to contact you directly regarding the money.

The second response would be to craft a short, warmly worded email (lose the sarcasm): “You’ve given me many moments of pride as I’ve watched you grow into an adult. This is not one of them. I know you’ve been through a lot, but there are times through life when it is vital that you remember to treat others as you would like to be treated. This IS one of them. My friends and I rallied and answered a need. When you can figure out how to respond to this generosity with gratitude, I’ll be happy to send these funds to you. I’d also be happy (with my friends’ permission) to donate it to your town’s fire and rescue squad. You decide. Love always, Gran. PS: I figured out how to use Venmo!” (It’s easy!)

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 responding to a rude grown grandchild, to giving money – again – to an unkind grown child, to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. 

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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Amy Dickinson