DEAR HARRIETTE: My grandchildren don't answer my emails. This is infuriating to me because I am not so quick with computers, and it takes me quite some time to email all of them individually. I have mentioned in person that they don't respond to my emails, and I receive empty promises that they will start. They are in different cities across the United States, while I am in Florida.
It's thankless to be a grandmother to grandchildren who don't take time to respond to you every day. I don't want to give up on them, but they seem to have left me no choice. -- Tech Grandma, Melbourne, Florida
DEAR TECH GRANDMA: When I read your note carefully, I see that you expect your grandchildren to respond to you on a daily basis. I hate to tell you this, but that is unrealistic. Your grandchildren are busy with their lives. Between school, extracurricular activities, chores and homework, there is not much time left in the day for them to focus on anything else -- even their beloved grandmother. You will do better at getting their attention and a response if you demand less of them.
Your life is, naturally, much less busy than theirs, so you notice when they are not connecting to you. But your schedules are completely different. Step back a bit and give them breathing room. Write to them occasionally, maybe once a week. Let them miss you a bit. And don't ask them for anything. Sometimes they will respond, and sometimes they won't. Feel out a natural rhythm between you that is comfortable on all sides.