DEAR ABBY: Our 26-year-old, college-educated grandson, "Ethan," crashed his company car and was arrested for DWI and possession of more than a gram of cocaine. His mother hired a lawyer, posted bond and is taking full charge of the situation. Ethan lost his responsible job, and his girlfriend kicked him out. He has a sizable inheritance, enough to pay the lawyer and fine. Since he has never been in trouble before, we are hoping he won't go to jail.
Although we love Ethan dearly, his dad and I agree he should handle this on his own without his mother (who is recently divorced from our son) running to his rescue. Ethan also needs help with his addictions. He has enough 529 account funds to turn this serious mistake into an opportunity to return to college and get a master's degree.
I don't know how much to get involved, directly with Ethan or his mother. Though my wife and I are on good terms with his mother, it appears she doesn't want our advice. I welcome your suggestions on what to do. -- UPSET GRANDDAD IN TEXAS
DEAR GRANDDAD: You can voice your opinion, but beyond that you should stay out of it. As well-meaning as you are, you can't force your former daughter-in-law -- who is in full mother mode -- or Ethan to abandon the path they are on. All you can do is point out the dangers they may encounter along the way and hope they will listen, however frustrating it may be.