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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandkids Become the Losers in Parents' War With in Laws

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I had a falling-out with his parents last October. We sent them an e-mail in December to let them know we have no desire to keep our children -- ages 5 and 6 -- from them. We feel it is important that they have a good relationship with their grandparents even though we don't.

My in-laws never responded and have made no attempt to see the children. They do send cards to them for holidays and birthdays, however.

While we accept that they want nothing to do with us, the kids keep asking why they don't get to see Nana and Papa anymore. We tell them that Nana and Papa love them very much, but are very busy. My in-laws live just 10 minutes away.

Abby, how do I continue to explain this situation to my children? They have done nothing wrong, and my heart breaks for them. -- DON'T BLAME THE KIDS

DEAR DON'T: You are behaving as if the ball is now in your in-laws' court. Continue telling your children that their grandparents love them, and have them pick up the phone and call Nana and Papa. If your in-laws are screening their calls and don't answer, have the children leave a message saying they miss their grandparents and would like to see them. Then the ball will be in their court.