Dear Annie: I am 33 years old and fed up with how distant my family is. I am disappointed with my grandparents for the way they behave. I grew up around them, but they moved to Arizona when I was 19.
I thought we were close, but it seems we are growing further apart. Sometimes they are in our town for several weeks, but we only hear from them once or twice. One would think they would set a better example for maintaining family ties. They recently came back for three weeks, and we didn’t know they were in town until halfway through their trip. They took us out to eat and casually mentioned that they are taking my two aunts and two of the grandkids to a resort for three days. We weren’t invited. In fact, whenever they are here, they focus all of their time and attention on one daughter and her kids and forget the rest of us.
My grandparents are getting older and won’t be around forever. I really want my daughter to meet all of her family while she has a chance. How do I change this? Is it even worth trying? It’s not really the same if they call more often only because I demand it. – Donny
Dear Donny: You should talk to your grandparents and tell them how much you miss them and how their favoritism is having a negative impact on your feelings and their relationship with your daughter. It’s not a “demand.” They cannot change their behavior if they are unaware of it. It may take some extra effort for them to remember this, and it’s OK to prompt them when necessary. Also, don’t hesitate to take the initiative whenever you want to speak to them.