Dear Annie: My husband has a 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. We don’t get to see “Emma” too often. She lives with her mother in another state, and Mom keeps her summers so packed that she cannot visit.
The problem is that this year Emma visited my father-in-law for an entire week, and he didn’t once let her do anything with us. It was very upsetting. My husband and I have three young children together, and Grandpa spends NO time with them at all. Yet he managed a week with Emma and didn’t include us. Our 5-year-old was hurt that Grandpa spends time with his older sister but never does anything with him.
Can I do anything about Grandpa playing favorites? It kills me to see my children hurt because of it. I also want my children to have a good relationship with their half-sister. I’ve talked to my husband, but he doesn’t know what to do, either, and it’s causing a great deal of stress in our home. – Upset Daughter-in-Law
Dear Upset: You surely realize that Grandpa “hoards” Emma in an effort to make up for the divorce and also to be sure that his ex-daughter-in-law will continue to allow the girl to visit. Your husband should speak to his father and explain how hurt the other grandchildren are that he doesn’t spend any time with them. You both should encourage Grandpa to come over more often. More importantly, if your husband doesn’t get to see Emma because Mom is deliberately preventing it, he should speak to his lawyer about amending the visitation arrangements.