Dear Annie: Due to many complicated family issues, I’ve been estranged from my adult daughter for the past 10 years. However, she has a college-age daughter with whom I’ve managed to maintain a decent and, I thought, loving relationship.
Last month, I was on “Chelsea’s” Facebook page. I’ve been proud of her success in college, her happiness with friends and the experience of living away from her mother. However, her friends posted a couple of remarks on her Facebook page that bothered me. I emailed her that these issues may not be any of my business, but I was concerned for her personal safety, etc. She quickly replied that this was indeed none of my business, and she made excuses for the Facebook comments. I expressed how disappointed I was with her attitude since I was only worried about her.
We haven’t spoken since then, and frankly, I cannot excuse her bad behavior toward me. But Chelsea doesn’t have a great many family members, and I would like to mend this rift. My own friends have pointed out that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Any suggestions? – Concerned Grandpa
Dear Grandpa: Chelsea is young and living independently for the first time. She doesn’t want her grandfather (or anyone else) to tell her how to live her life. You were undoubtedly right to be concerned about her safety, but it came across as criticism, and she was not receptive.
If you want to fix this, you will have to make the first move. Send her an email or post something on her Facebook page that is positive and complimentary. Say nothing about the previous disagreement, and hope she is equally willing to let it go. Then start fresh. We hope someday Chelsea will be mature enough to appreciate your advice. But right now, please tread lightly.
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