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Lifestyle

July 9, 2013

Dear Abby: Idea for surprise wedding may need further thought

(Continued)

We don’t see them often during the year because we live in different states, but we would like our kids to have a good relationship with them. The kids don’t seem to be fazed by it, but they also don’t get excited about opening and using these gifts.

We pay for our children to participate in religious education as well as attend several church functions during the school year. We believe grandparents should be interested in learning about what each child is drawn to, and not so much about preaching their own religious beliefs to us. It makes us uncomfortable and resentful at times.

How does one politely tell in-laws to stop sending religious-themed gifts?

:Overloaded In South Carolina

Dear Overloaded: One doesn’t. A better way to handle it would be to communicate with them in between these holidays and tell them what activities the grandkids are involved in, and any new interests they may have. A stronger hint than that would be offensive, and I don’t recommend it.

As to what to do with the unused items — donate them.

:

:Dear Abby: When my daughter calls her mother-in-law “Mom,” it hurts my feelings. I gave birth to her, worked hard to put a roof over her head and food in her mouth. She has only one mother during her lifetime — ME. I never called my mother-in-law “Mom.” The name meant something to me, and it was reserved for the woman who gave me life!

:Disappointed In Idaho

:Dear Disappointed: Many women besides your daughter call their mothers-in-law “Mom.” Rather than be jealous and territorial, you should be happy that your daughter has such a warm relationship with her mother-in-law.

However, because you feel slighted, ask if she would be willing to call her MIL “Mama Smith” — something other than her name for you when you are all together in order to avoid “confusion.”

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

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