Almost every Dear Family Whisperer question I answer hits close to home, because I live and deal with many of the same issues. However, this week’s, “Overcoming Four Difficult Truths About Your Grandchild’s Parents,” was one of my most challenging to answer. In varying degrees–many less blatant–I’ve heard similar stories from other grandparents. More importantly, I’ve experienced the generational divide myself. I have and continue to inhabit many family roles: daughter, sister, niece, wife, mother, aunt, partner–and, most recently, grandmother, which might be the most challenging of all! Continue reading article
This week, the Family Whisperer responded to a question from a mother who revisits her childhood summer home (“You Can’t Go Home but You Can Grow Up. Here’s How!”)
I never had that challenge–at least not with my parents. On my wedding night, my father told me he’d sold our summer house. I was disappointed, but part of me was also relieved.. I remembered what happened when my much-older siblings came for the summer with their families. Continue reading article →
This week’s Dear Family Whisperer column, “How To Not Be the “Bad Guy,” hit home. Times have changed–men are more involved in childcare today. To his credit, my husband loved kids and was more hands-on than many fathers in the 1970s. He took our children to the playground on Saturday mornings and, once, even held down the fort for nearly three weeks when I went to India. But for the most part I was “the heavy”–the bad cop– who decided what was good for the kids. Not surprisingly, when we became a “family apart,” still co-parenting but in separate households, our different standards and problem-solving approaches magnified.
I’ve since peeked into many other families’ lives and have come to understand that the push-me-pull-you between parents–married or divorced–can be better understood with “family think.” Continue reading article →