DEAR ABBY: We were invited to spend Thanksgiving with our son and daughter-in-law -- a three-day drive for us, but we were eager to spend time with family and see our grandchildren.
We make it a point to keep our visits short. They are busy young people with lots to do. We take them all out to dinner at least once during our visit, and offer to help wherever needed.
However, our daughter-in-law remained cool and distant. It made us feel we weren't a part of their family. She kept herself occupied reading books or sewing, or she would go into their bedroom and close the door and we wouldn't see her again until morning. Her behavior made us feel we were unwelcome and in the way.
Abby, we could use some pointers on what to do -- and what not to do -- while visiting our married children. Please help. -- PUZZLED MOTHER-IN-LAW
DEAR PUZZLED: You appear to be gracious people. I'm not sure the problem is yours, and giving you any pointers seems beside the point. If she usually behaves that way during your visits, your daughter-in-law may have insecurity or self-esteem issues that make it difficult for her to entertain houseguests, or she could simply be a "loner." Whatever her reasons, you're overdue for a private talk with your son to help you understand what's really going on.