Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Daughter wants to shield her kids from their toxic grandma

 

Dear Abby: My mother and I were close growing up. However, when I was in college she abandoned the family (my siblings were in high school and elementary school) for her much younger boyfriend.

Since then, our relationship has been strained, particularly since I learned she used to tell her then-husband she was visiting me when she was carrying on her affair. After that, I learned about additional lies she had told me throughout my childhood.

I’m married now and have two young children. Until a year ago we lived in the same city. Mom never came around much because she was preoccupied with finding new boyfriends to support her. She has since moved out of state and stalks me on Facebook, harassing me to get Skype so she can talk to my children.

My mother has never apologized for her actions to anyone and thinks we should just “get over it.” Because so much has come out about her, I want to protect my children from being hurt by her the way I was.

I can’t tell her outright that I don’t want much to do with her for fear it will send her into an “episode,” and I don’t want my kids caught in the crossfire. If I try to sugar-coat what needs to be said, she won’t get it. What should I do?

Frustrated Daughter

Frankly, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you just tell your mother you’re not getting Skype and the reason why, and let her have her “episode.” As a parent, you have every right to insulate your children from anyone you feel might be a negative influence— and that includes their grandmother.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • Southern Cross Stargazer for Aug. 3-9, 2014

    First Quarter Moon occurs at 8:50 p.m. and floats 6 degrees to the right of silver Saturn — encircled in sunlit icy rings — in the south-southwest. Ruddy Mars grows dim about 8 degrees to the right of the moon. The planets set late evening.

  • Condo Line

    What happened to our annual meeting?

    Q: I would like your opinion on whether or not an association must have an annual meeting. As of now, the last annual meeting in our HOA was in March 2012. FS 720 states that the association “shall” conduct an annual meeting. Our current board and property management company are of the opinion that you only have to try to have one. If a quorum is not reached then the annual meeting is not held and no attempt is made to schedule another meeting.

  •  
A young angler fishes the waters off Key West.

    Key west: better in summer, after tourists go home

    Key Westers who live on the island year-round have a steamy little secret: Lots of us like the place better in the summer.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category