Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Grandma Is Reluctant to Share Her Title With Boyfriend's Mom

DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter, "Emily," is 13. I have been very involved with her all her life. My daughter, "Ginger," is divorced and has had a boyfriend, "Greg," for about three years, but there has been no talk of marriage.

Greg's mother has told Emily to call her "Grandma." Emily is OK with that, but it hurt my feelings, Abby.

I feel that Greg's mother should realize she's using a title that's not hers. I realize she's trying to make Emily feel like part of their family, but to me, this is my title, not hers. She has known Emily for three years, and while she's nice to her, I'm the one who has been doing grandma duties for 12 years -- not her. To me, she should be called something special but not "Grandma."

How do I cope with this? Shouldn't the other "grandma" have realized she's pushing herself into the position of the real grandma? -- HURT GRANDMA IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HURT: You are taking this too personally. If Greg's mother wasn't hoping her son would marry your daughter, she would not be "embracing" Emily the way she has.

Your granddaughter does not love this woman more than she does you. Whether Greg's mother "should" realize she's treading on thin ice is something I cannot conjecture. However, I'm sure she didn't do this to annoy you. If you bring this up with her, you will annoy her, which will likely annoy her son and your daughter, so I advise against it. I'm betting that eventually she will become an official grandma -- however, if that doesn't happen, your problem will be solved because she'll be history.

Read more in: Family & Parenting