Generous parents don't want to fund wedding

  • Pin It

Chicago Tribune advice columnist Amy Dickinson and Chicago Tribune reporter Jenniffer Weigel talk on the phone with a listener who is wondering how to date as a single mom. (Posted on: Feb. 14, 2013)

Dear Amy: My daughter had a child out of wedlock four years ago. My wife and I have supported them both emotionally and financially and by baby-sitting the child.

Now my daughter is engaged to a very good guy. She wants to have a wedding that will cost approximately $10,000, and she wants me to pay for it.

Considering the history, I feel this is a bit much and not fair to my wife and me.

Am I wrong?

— Upset Dad

Dear Dad: Estimates vary, but the average wedding these days costs somewhere around $30,000. Does this mean you must pay for your daughter's lower-cost celebration?

Absolutely not.

You don't mention what your daughter has been doing to build her own income, but with you and your wife supporting her and her child and also baby-sitting, this should have given her opportunities to further her education and put some money away for her family's future.

In being there, emotionally and financially, during this important and challenging time, you have done the true "heavy lifting" of parenting. I hope she has expressed her gratitude.

Even the most generous parents have to draw the line somewhere. If this is your line, then draw it and stand firm.

Dear Amy: My eldest daughter is a year away from becoming a doctor of psychology. We funded her undergraduate studies at a top Canadian university, and I have always encouraged her in her pursuits of higher education.

We discussed years ago that when she got married she would keep her surname for her doctorate, and she agreed. I have no issue with her taking her husband's name in her private life, but I feel she's had our family's surname 28 years and should keep it.

I have no sons to carry on the family name. This is just so special to me and would mean so much. She hasn't made a decision; she is already known professionally and has published using our family name. What are your thoughts?

— Very Proud Dad

Dear Very Proud: I think your smart, accomplished psychologist daughter will find a way to detach, with love.

The great job you did raising your daughter and your generosity in funding her education does not mean that you get to control what name she uses professionally or personally. Her published work is a reflection of her accomplishments, not your reflected glory.

She may choose to keep her surname in both her professional and personal life. She may choose to change it altogether (and use her mother's maiden name, for instance). I do know this: Pressuring her may actually influence her to act in opposition to you, simply to maintain her own personal independence and assert her well-earned adulthood (that's the armchair psychologist in me talking).

You need only ask yourself: Would you be any less proud of your daughter if she chose to publish under a pen name? I hope not. Would she be any less a part of you if she took a different name? Definitely not.

Dear Amy: The letter from "Frustrated Mother-in-law," struck a nerve with me.

I am an introverted male whose more outgoing in-laws decided they could "fix." They would tease me about being quiet, would put me on the spot to make comments during conversations in which I had nothing to contribute and would loudly make fun of me in front of others.

Even my wife joined in, telling me she was "tired of explaining me to everyone." For this and a few other related reasons, I don't have much of a relationship with my in-laws. I agree with your comment, to celebrate the good things about introverted people. That, more than anything, might bring them out of their shell more than trying to "fix" them.

— A Quiet Man

Dear Quiet: Many readers have recommended the wonderful book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain (2013, Broadway). I highly recommend that you, your wife and in-laws, and anybody else seeking to understand introverts, read it for insight and inspiration.

  • Pin It
Baltimore Restaurant Reviews and News - Headlines from en ©2014, Tue, 8 Apr 2014 13:26:00 -0400 Good American food and lots of enthusiasm at Nancy by SNAC By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun,0,4313551.story?track=rss The Station North spot serves simple, and simply wonderful, fare<br/><br/> Tue, 8 Apr 2014 13:26:00 EDT At Bistro Blanc, new chef is off to an impressive start By Richard Gorelick , The Baltimore Sun,0,3233136.story?track=rss Janny Kim is creating delicious and beautiful dishes at Glenelg restaurant<br/><br/> Fri, 4 Apr 2014 10:50:00 EDT Craft beers, great American food shine at White Oak Tavern By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun,0,826443.story?track=rss Ellicott City farm-to-table spot is a welcome addition<br/><br/> Tue, 1 Apr 2014 16:37:00 EDT Puerto 511, a new downtown hideaway, dazzles with Peruvian cuisine By Richard Gorelick , The Baltimore Sun,0,2070652.story?track=rss An unlikely location adds to the charm of a 14-seat restaurant<br/><br/> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:45:00 EDT Grille at Maple Lawn is likable, but menu has some issues By Richard Gorelick , The Baltimore Sun,0,2155636.story?track=rss A work in progress, the new restaurant is coping with early crowds<br/><br/> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 16:33:00 EDT Conrad's Seafood still finding its footing in Perry Hall By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun,0,547782.story?track=rss Creative dishes and friendly service could overcome missteps<br/><br/> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:43:00 EDT Good times and good food at Lib's Grill in Perry Hall By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun,0,5162149.story?track=rss The Liberatore family's new restaurant hits all the right notes<br/><br/> Fri, 7 Mar 2014 16:18:00 EST At Cross Keys, Scoozi succeeds with good service By Richard Gorelick , The Baltimore Sun,0,7926591.story?track=rss A new Italian restaurant takes its modest menu seriously<br/><br/> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:33:00 EST Liquid Lib's brings tapas and fun to Timonium By Kit Waskom Pollard, For The Baltimore Sun,0,1381694.story?track=rss You'll find an accessible wine list, good food and personable service<br/><br/> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:08:00 EST After 20 years, The Helmand still entices and delights By Richard Gorelick , The Baltimore Sun,0,7232031.story?track=rss Now a Baltimore dining classic, The Helmand has changed just enough to keep diners satisfied<br/><br/> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:22:00 EST