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Grandma wants to help

December 15, 2018

Dear Annie: I have two grandchildren, ages 11 and 7, and I am worried about them. I am trying to persuade my daughter to clean up their bedrooms. As an aside, they need new bedroom sets. My grandson still has my girl’s bedroom set, and my granddaughter refuses to sleep in hers, saying it is uncomfortable.

I just do not know what to do, as I want to help her yet cannot get anywhere with her. Sometimes they sleep downstairs on the floor and are up late at night. I don’t know whether they are getting proper rest.

My daughter is recently divorced, and her ex makes over $100,000 per year. Should I interfere and try to do something? I feel for these kids. The rooms are a mess, with clothes all over the place, and other rooms in the house are a mess, too. I offer to help, but my daughter does not want my help, which makes me feel powerless. What can I do? Please help! My grandson is 11 with a girl’s bedroom set! -- Worried Grandma

Dear Worried Grandma: Instead of focusing on all that your daughter is doing wrong with her children, try to see what she is doing right. Remember, she is recently divorced and needs support, not criticism. She is going through a great deal. Instead of telling her how messy her kids’ rooms are or that her son has a girl’s bed, take action. Just clean the room yourself and ask the kids whether they want to help out. They probably will -- if not at first, eventually. Make it fun, and consider buying a new bed or painting your son’s bed a different color.

People respond much better to positive actions than complaints.

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