When this grandma is fed up, she asks Reddit:
I (f59) have own child, my son, who is married to Jinger (f34). They have one child together, my beloved granddaughter, Emma, f14.
I’m not extremely wealthy but I’m also not struggling for money. With careful budgeting, I have enouhh money to live off, save for bigger things and pay for some thing for Emma. But I’m far from being able to afford anything I want.
Emma is a smart girl, she’s not very into sports (except for swimming) and she’s really into languages. Because of that, I’m paying for her gym membership (so she can go swimming whenever she wants to) and her language classes (she’s studying 3 languages, it was her decision, not mine).
I also take her shopping occasionally and once she’s gotten older, she’s been going on holidays with me every year. This summer we went travelling to South America for 2 months and I’m currently saving so we can go travelling to Asia next summer. Emma is a very good girl and I absolutely love spending time with her (hopefully, it’s mutual, I haven’t heard otherwise from her).
Emma’s mother and I don’t get along but we are never openly hostile. Emma has a lot of issues with her mother but I made a point of never badmouthing her mother to her, I will listen to Emma and offer support but try j out to undermine Jinger’s authority.
The other day, Jinger visited me without prior notice. She told me all about ice skating lessons (Emma never skated nor has she ever mentioned wanting to skate) and asked me to pay for Emma’s lessons.
I told her I’ll think about this and spoken to Emma. Emma doesn’t want to ice skate, it’s all Jinger’s unfulfilled dreams and apparently is fashionable to do expensive sports amongst Jinger’s friends.
Knowing that Emma doesn’t want to do this, I told Jinger that I will not be paying for lessons. Jinger pushed further and I asked how much they were. Let me tell you, they were expensive with everything included.
I said it was way too much and I couldn’t afford it. She told me to drop the travelling fund, it’s useless and only last a bit but Emma will like her lessons. She said I’m too old to enjoy travel and Emma is too young.
I told her that I spoke with Emma and she doesn’t want to do those lessons. Jinger got really angry and told me to never go behind her back, that it was a surprise for Emma and I ruined it.
She called me an asshole and threatened to not allow Emma to visit me any further and it’s crazy that Emma has got her own room at my house. She called me names and I kicked her out of my house.
Later that day, my son called and was really angry with me and that I should just pay for the lessons. I tried explaining him what’s happened but he wouldn’t listen. Emma called me later crying, saying that her mother forbade her from coming over the weekend to stay with me.
I’m at a loss, was I really in the wrong? I’d hate to not be able to see Emma and I couldn’t forgive myself if I’m the reason she’s not allowed to see me. AITA?
NTA. Even if Emma did want to do it, it’s not your responsibility to pay for it. You already raised your kids and presumably paid for them. It’s her parents’ responsibility to pay for their kids.
I completely agree with this comment. OP is obviously a very loving and generous grandmother, and it bothers me how Emma's parents feel very entitled to her money. I hope OP doesn't let them push her around and take advantage of her like this.
Do they even realize that OP was never responsible for paying for any of their daughter's classes?
I am the youngest of 9 children in my family, all my siblings have at least one child, and not a single one of them has ever expected or demanded our parents pay for their children's extracurricular activities.
That just sounds insane to me. Emma's mother and father can pay for this themselves. It would be nice if they spoke to their own daughter about it though since she doesn't even sound interested in doing this herself.
NTA. But, OP, you've learned a valuable lesson... you can't trust your DIL. In the future, never reveal anything Emma says.
I would text both parents, 'I'm sorry for the argument over skating lessons. I love all of you, but I will not be paying for her skating lessons. I already help with her gym membership and her language lessons, asking for more isn't fair to me or reasonable.
I've said no to paying for them. My answer is no. Just like if I asked you for money, and you said no, you need to respect my answer.
Again, I love all of you, but I won't discuss this further.' If they try arguing, repeat THE SAME phrase over and over. 'I said I won't discuss this further.' Do not change your response, just repeat the same thing until they realize they can't bully you into this.
DON'T discuss the travel fund. DON'T bring up that your granddaughter doesn't want to do the lessons. Just state it all clearly.
They might continue being mad and keep your granddaughter from you as 'punishment,' because they seem like those kinds of people, but do not let them step on this boundary or they'll be pulling this more and more in the future.
Your granddaughter is almost 18, and then it'll make it harder for them to keep her away from you.