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Dear Annie: Why don’t my grandchildren ever have time for me?

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Dear Anne: I write this about my family. I have five sons and one daughter who are all adults and have children.

My third son, “Jake,” has two grown daughters and one grown son. When Jake’s two daughters were kids, I dashed around buying things for them. The son was not yet born. I only bought the best for the girls, and now that they are in their thirties, I don’t hear a word from them. I bought some stuff from them at a very expensive store, but I don’t even get a phone call from them on Mother’s Day or my birthday saying “Happy Mother’s Day, Grandma” or “Happy birthday, grandma”.

And it’s not just this year; it’s every year. I never hear from them. But on the other hand, my daughter-in-law’s mother passed away, and they go to her grave on Mother’s Day and any other holiday, posting on Facebook saying, “Happy Mother’s Day, Grand -mother”. But they can’t even pick up the phone and call their living grandmother to say “Happy Mother’s Day” or “Happy Birthday.”

When I look back I realize that I also gave them a lot of love and took them to church, and when they were kids they stayed with me most of the time. It’s not just monetary things. I feel so left out of my grandchildren’s lives. There’s a lot more I can say about this situation, but that’s all for now. – Heartbroken in Ohio

Dear broken heart: Assuming there hasn’t been a big fight or reason they’re mad at you, I’m guessing they’ve been busy in their lives. It’s petty to focus on the expensive gifts you gave them when they were kids and it doesn’t make you look your best. Instead of complaining about everything you’ve done for them and the fact that they don’t like you, change the narrative in your head and focus on how much you love them and miss them.

Then focus on ways to connect with them. Contact your son and ask him what he would really like to do with you. Give them your time, love, and attention, and I suspect you’ll get it back tenfold. Try to get rid of the jealousy you feel when they visit their deceased grandmother and think of it as the beautiful grandchildren you have – that they honor their grandmother.

Once you let go of your bitterness about people who don’t behave exactly the way you think they should, you’ll be surprised at how nice and wonderful they can be.

What we put in is what we take out. Be sure to call them on their birthday and show them the unconditional love you expect from them and they expect from you. Don’t dwell on everything they do wrong, but rather on everything they do right.

See previous columns “Dear Annie”

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