Dear Abby: Little girls visit their mother, and she ignores them

They’re being raised by their grandma, but when she brings them by, Mommy stays on the phone the whole time.

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DEAR ABBY: I am raising my two granddaughters and trying to allow their mother, my daughter, to visit with them. My problem is, the entire time she is with us, she stays on her phone or Snapchat. Last weekend, I drove to the place where she resides, and the whole time we were there she ignored the girls. I have a ton of family and friends who say I’m wrong for allowing her to even see the girls, period. I don’t want to be the bad guy when they grow up. Help, Abby. — FOR THEIR GOOD IN OHIO

DEAR FOR THEIR GOOD: Either your daughter doesn’t know how to relate to her children, which is why she stays on her cellphone when you bring them to her, or she’s not interested in creating a bond since she has offloaded them to you. Talk with your daughter. Tell her that if she isn’t prepared to actually spend time with her children, you will stop bringing them, and then follow through. Children aren’t stupid. They know when someone is interested in them and when they are being ignored. In the end, you won’t be the “bad guy” in their eyes.

DEAR ABBY: I am writing because I’m sure other grandparents have faced the same issue as I have. I enjoy sending my grandchildren cards with a small check for special occasions or as a reward for doing well in school, etc. My son and daughter-in-law have a reward system set up with my grandson where he receives an allowance for doing his chores, but has money deducted if he doesn’t.

I sent my grandson a small check with his birthday card, but my son informed me that he will be able to keep only $2 of it, because he’s in the hole for not doing his chores. I feel the check was a gift and should have been kept separate from the rewards program. Who is right — my son or me? — GENEROUS GRAN IN WASHINGTON

DEAR GRAN: I think you are. But since your son and daughter-in-law dictate what goes on under their roof, it doesn’t matter what you and I think. The rules are the rules, and your grandson needs to get off his behind and catch up on those chores!

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are snowbirds and head south for a few sunny months every winter. We rent in an active adults community and enjoy all the clubs and sports. Our problem is the number of relatives and friends who invite themselves down for a free vacation.

Unless I specifically call and invite you, I am not interested in spending my vacation — which is costing me a pretty penny — making beds, washing towels, cooking much more elaborate meals than my husband and I usually eat and ferrying you around to see the sights. Feel free to rent your own place or stay in a hotel wherever you wish, but please do not include us in your plans. Thank you, Abby, for letting me get that off my chest! — ANSWER IS NO

DEAR ANSWER: You are venting to the wrong person. This is something you should express to each of the friends and relatives who think they can continue to impose upon you. Who can blame them? They thought your silence was consent.

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

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