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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 May 16, 2014
DEAR AMY: Our daughter is divorcing her husband of 25 years, "Scott." They have an 18-year-old daughter who is in 11th grade.
We had no idea this situation was happening until we were told of their divorce. It seems that Scott has turned their daughter, "Maggie," into his new mother/girlfriend in every way but sexual.

They cuddle together, dress alike, whisper and giggle together in front of our daughter. They go out on dates, text constantly, even when Maggie is in school, and Maggie helped Scott fill out the divorce papers.
The teen has cut herself off from our daughter and believes every bad thing her dad tells her about her mom, even very private issues.
Our daughter is not allowed to attend school conferences about Maggie or hear about her health issues.

If that weren't bad enough, Scott and Maggie are moving across the country together to be with his family, who are supportive of him and his plans.
We don't know if he can even find a job. He told Maggie she will have no more curfews, can get tattoos, smoke, doesn't need to bother finishing school, etc. The list goes on.
She won't listen to her mom, us or anyone else. She shouts that she is 18 and "an adult." She keeps saying that her mom has friends to talk to, "but dad only has me."
We think this is emotional incest, but she is 18 so there is nothing much any of us can do to stop her. Maybe if she sees a response from you, she might think twice about this decision that could ruin her life.-- Concerned Grandparents

DEAR CONCERNED: I don't think it is wise to throw around the phrase "emotional incest," but this does seem like a severe case of parental alienation.
Legally there is nothing your family can do to prevent this 18-year-old from aligning with her father, moving, dropping out of school, getting tattoos, etc.(although her mother should attend school conferences, unless there is a court order against her).
Pushing really hard will cause this teen to back away with equal force, and so my advice to all of you is to turn your focus away from punishing her for her immaturity, bad judgment and twisted perspective about her parents -- and point it toward keeping in touch and keeping the door open for a relationship.

She is too young to resist being manipulated by one (or both) of her parents. Let her know that as her loving grandparents you are concerned about her, that you love her and that you hope for the best for her. Encourage her to complete her education, and offer your help to achieve healthy goals.

DEAR AMY: We have seven grandchildren, and we treat all of them equally, although two are not biologically ours.
However, as we are getting older and talking about inheritance, we find that we are in a quandary about our estate.
Our two stepgrandchildren had wealthy grandparents, who we know provided for their child and them.
Our estate will be modest, and we have been advised by a number of estate planners and lawyers that we should not feel it necessary to provide for the stepgrandchildren.
Our biological grandchildren will not be receiving anything from their other grandparents, so what we leave them will be their only inheritance. We would appreciate your views on this or feedback from others who have found themselves in similar situations.-- Stumped Nana

DEAR NANA: I think you should give each grandchild an equal (and modest) amount and (depending on your age, etc.) put your primary inheritance into the hands of the parents of these children, who can use it for their kids' education, etc., in proportion to the financial needs of each child.
I will happily run suggestions from readers.

DEAR AMY: I seriously cannot believe your answer to "Burdened," the mom whose teen daughter is sexually active. Sending kids toward contraception is not the answer. Abstinence is.
I raised two sexually pure daughters and not from promoting birth control.-- Happy Father

DEAR FATHER: "Sexually pure?" I shudder at how you define that -- but offer you my congratulations.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Lawrence, MA

#2 May 16, 2014
1- how do you know it's not sexual? Sad and creepy situation but there's not much you can do. Amy's right, just keep the lines of communication open

2- screw dat! Those dam step kids ain't getting a part of my inheritance

3- children should be encouraged to have sex as long as they use a condom

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#3 May 16, 2014
L2. Lawyers are world reknowned as emotionless creatures who are oftentimes only looking out for their best interest.
My step-father, who is an attorney, gypped me out of a $500 (five hundred) dollar inheritance from his mother to me.
He was the executor of her lousy estate and he did not give me a dime.
One of her real grandkids received over $30,000 dollars.
I didn't need the money either, and still do not. We haven't spoke in years.

Brooklyn, NY

#4 May 16, 2014
L1: LOL! You know what they say, there's three sides to every story. Only this one might have four.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 May 16, 2014
1 All this sounds very horrible, but I think we are getting a biased view. There is no way you could know how often they text. if they whisper and giggle together in front of the mother, there may be a very good reason for that. And bottom line is, she is 18.

2 Spend it all.

3 Sure you did dad...What ever helps you sleep at night.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#6 May 16, 2014
L1: Creeeeepy.

L2: Spend it now. Give it to them now. Don't wait until you're dead and the government takes a chunk.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 May 16, 2014
LW1: I'm wondering what your daughter did to give her daughter an Electra complex.

LW2: Set up some savings accounts now.

LW3: I bet you participated in one of the purity balls. That is almost more creepy than the situtation in LW1.

And I don't believe one word of it. They just got really good at being sneaky.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 May 16, 2014
L1 Any flags raised by teh fact that the girl is 18 and in 11th grade?
The only thing anyone can do st this point is rely on the adage of "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree". Whatever LW and the mom did while the girl was growing up will eventally win out.

Boundary Painter's analysis is a good one. Look into the future. In 2 years, girl will be completeing 1st year of college. If she has teh chops to go away to school, that in and of itself will provide a reality check.

I have to wonder how teh girl feels about moving highschools for her senior year though. You also have to trust that his family is not as nuts as he is, but that's a stretch: that's the tree he sprang from.

Bottom line: keep in touch with her. be as non judgmental as possible, be as "normal" as possible and don't let her manipulate you for money.

L2 One reason not to spend it all is that LW does not know how long they will live and what they may need. Saving for your old age and all that.

My 2 cents worth is to give each child a modest but equal amount/percentage in the will but make provision while you are alive to set up accounts to balance the financial matters. That way , in 30 years they will gather at a grand kid's wedding and say ,fondly, she treated us all like we were her own.
L3 There are people out there who think that way. It is best we know about them even if other large groups disagree..

After the 08 election, someone did a survey/statistical analysis that compared states which were considered red, i.e. conservative vs blue states and compared the number of teenaged births and single mother births. Red states, particularly evangelical groups had significantly higher unmarried births.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#9 May 16, 2014
LW1 seems to be telling a story.

LW2 might be real.

LW3 might be real too--but i'm not sure his daughters told him the whole story.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#10 May 16, 2014
PEllen wrote:
L1 Any flags raised by teh fact that the girl is 18 and in 11th grade?

Boundary Painter's analysis is a good one. Look into the future. In 2 years, girl will be completeing 1st year of college. If she has teh chops to go away to school, that in and of itself will provide a reality check.
Not if she drops out of high school, which is what the LW said her dad is going to let her do.

Regarding her age and being in 11th grade, yeah, I raised my eyebrows for a second, but she could have had a birthday that fell at a weird time with the cut off for kindergarten, or she could have been held back a year. <mimishrug>


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 May 16, 2014
L1: Yuk. I agree with everyone else. Keep the lines of communiccation open. She might come to realize her dad did not have her best interests. She might not -- but in case she does be sure to have a safe emotional place for her.

And PEllen -- I noticed that right away that she was 18 and a junior. It could mean they kept her back in first or second grade, or it could mean she's having difficulties through high school with her parents' problems (or her own).

L2: I say put some away for yourself, spend the rest. I encouraged my grandmother-in-law to spend every last dime instead of keep the thermostat down so low and not turning on lights. She didn't listen. They all fought over the money that was left. It wasn't like it was millions, either.(shrug)

L3:(sigh) Most parents who are so sure their kids are little angels have their eyes closed and believe what they want. Pure?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#12 May 16, 2014
Can't understand why some of you have such a hard time believing l3. Every statistic shows teen sexual activity is down

Bothell, WA

#13 May 16, 2014
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
Not if she drops out of high school, which is what the LW said her dad is going to let her do.
Regarding her age and being in 11th grade, yeah, I raised my eyebrows for a second, but she could have had a birthday that fell at a weird time with the cut off for kindergarten, or she could have been held back a year. <mimishrug>
Some of my son's friends are going to be turning 18 in 11th grade. He's in 2nd, and he's one of the youngest in his class at 7. There are several kids who are now 9 years old in his class this late in the year. It's the "end" problem of parents choosing to redshirt boys and/or schools starting to require increasing amounts of academic knowledge in 1st grade (thus resulting in a lot of kids "repeating" kindergarten or 1st). 11/12th grade teachers end up dealing with 18 and 19 year olds, some of whom don't want to be in high school anymore.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#14 May 16, 2014
1. I cal bull shyte on the fairness of this.

2. Give to all of the kids equally ya skinflint

3. Dude welcome to fantasyland, population: you.

Elizabethtown, KY

#15 May 16, 2014
LW1: The father is the adult in this situation and IMHO, somebody needs to sit him down and explain to him that he is the parent and not the friend/substitute boyfriend of his daughter. Possibly the best person to do this is a trained, professional counselor. Telling your child that she can drop out of school, smoke, and get tattoos is horrible parenting, aside from the inappropriate way they are behaving.

LW2: The only way to avoid hurt feelings is to distribute the money evenly. The amount does not matter. Good family relationships are far more important than money. Nobody is owed an inheritance.

LW3: I think abstinence is ideal, but teens should be educated about birth control; how effective each method is and where to get it. We learned that when I was in high school and now the abstinence-only crowd is conspiring to keep kids ignorant. Ignorance is never a solution. There are too many 35-year-old grandparents in this country.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#16 May 16, 2014
Oh, I will get my $500 dollars.
I figure every time I rip on the legal profession it is worth at least half a pence.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#17 May 16, 2014
I was a pall bearer at her funeral along with my step-cousins.
I did a lot of good things for Rose.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 May 16, 2014
Sounds to me like you are ruining your memory of her, by obsessing over $500. Not worth it in my book.
loose cannon wrote:
I was a pall bearer at her funeral along with my step-cousins.
I did a lot of good things for Rose.

Hancock, NY

#19 May 16, 2014
1: Keeping the lines of communication open is about all you can do. Why can't your daughter attend school conferences? Is it because she had meltdown at a past meeting and now school officials don't want her there or because they're going along with her "adult" daughter's decision that she shouldn't? It sounds as though somewhere along the line, your daughter made mistakes of some sort. Family counseling might help but I doubt your granddaughter (and s-i-l?) wouldn't agree.

2: Do not entrust your children with an inheritance meant to go to your grandchildren. There are ways to make sure the money goes to your grandchildren without their parents as middlemen. Put it in a trust of some kind that the parents can't touch. Just make sure the kids can't either until they reach a certain age. Or you could probably restrict its use for education until they reach a certain age. I've known parents to use their kids' inheritance using one excuse after another. Give your kids something for themselves but keep each of the children's inheritance separate from the parents' and the other children's. That said, I don't see why you should have to give the same amount to your step-grandchildren if they have grandparents who have left them a sizable inheritance and they didn't share that with the other children. You should still try to give them something but somehow it just seems unfair that that the step grandchildren get a lot more all told. You could leave them letters to be opened upon your death explaining why you left them less - as a way to balance the overall inheritances all the grandchildren get. It's too bad those other grandparents didn't see fit to include your biological grandchildren to some extent as well since their own grandchildren were their siblings. If that had happened, I'd say include all 7 kids equally.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#20 May 16, 2014
LW3 - That's what they told you...

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