February 22, 2005

Dear Abby Blogging

I never thought I would blog on a Dear Abby column, but this letter and response leaped out at me.
Dear Abby:

My husband and I have been married for 55 years. We come from a generation where living together and having children before marriage was unthinkable.
Our 21-year-old granddaughter, "Stella," and her boyfriend moved in together two years ago, in what they called a "trial marriage." Last month, Stella gave birth to a baby girl and sent my husband and me a birth announcement.

We mailed it back with a note telling Stella we are ashamed of their conduct and lack of morals. We also told them there's nothing to celebrate about this birth of an out-of-wedlock child.

Four days later, my daughter (Stella's mother) phoned us in a rage. She said things are different nowadays and we have no right to impose our "outdated moral values" on their daughter and her boyfriend. My daughter insists we owe them an apology. She says we are out of line. Your opinion, please.

in Arizona

Dear Standing:

Although you come from a generation that believes it is best for a child to be born into an established family, it's time to face the fact that a number of younger people feel differently today.

Your moral values are not outdated, but you do owe the couple an apology for lashing out in anger. It was cruel to have returned the birth announcement and told your granddaughter that the birth was nothing to celebrate. Simply not responding at all would have signaled your disapproval.

Now hold on. What, exactly do the grandparents owe an apology for? I don’t see anger here – I see an honest statement of the moral beliefs of the grandparents. I see an expression of disapproval. Maybe it could have been couched in different terms, but I don’t see where grandma and grandpa should be expected to stay silent about their beliefs because others (by their lights) have low or no morals. And I also don’t see where failure to give a gift communicates the message of disapproval that grandma and grandpa wanted to communicate. The thing I see wrong with the manner in which they communicate their message is that it closes doors and does nothing to encourage the granddaughter and the baby’s father to do what the grandparents view as “the right thing.”

Given that my wife and I have not been blessed with children and have been unable to adopt, I would partially disagree with the grandparents. Even if a child isn’t born into a traditional married two heterosexual parent home, the birth of a child is always something to be celebrated. The miracle of new life deserves nothing less. But as a teacher who has seen too many baby showers in the cafeteria and too many excited tenth-grade parents-to-be, I have to agree that we need to stop accepting out of wedlock birth as simply one option among many that are equally acceptable.

Oh, yeah, and about mom complaining that the grandparents “have no right to impose our ‘outdated moral values,’” how does an expression of disapproval do that? Isn’t her demand that the grandparents apologize an impositon of moral values, in and of itself? Is it not an equally “incorrect” insistance that only one set of values is correct? Doesn’t she seek to require that they adhere to beliefs that are not their own? The answer to all of the above questions is “yes,” and that points up the very hypocrisy of those who complain that others are seeking to “impose their morality” -- it isn’t the imposition that they are objecting to, it is the morality itself that they find objectionable.

Frankly, I think everyone in this situation blew it. Granddaughter and her shack-up boyfriend shouldn’t be having kids while they are still playing house. Mom shouldn’t be demanding that her parents adhere to and abide by beliefs that are antithetical to their own. Grandma and grandpa should have found a constructive way of voicing their disapproval, one which did not burn the bridges with a couple who need support and encouragement to do what is best for their new child or deprive the child of the love and nurturing it deserves. And Abby was wrong in her assessment of the situation -- at least how the grandparents should have responded.

|| Greg, 07:56 PM || Permalink || Comments (0) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for Dear Abby Blogging

TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Dear Abby Blogging'.

Comments on Dear Abby Blogging

Post a comment

Remember personal info?




Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 187)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 421)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 685)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1570)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 108)
Politics (posts: 5261)
Race & Racism (posts: 281)
Religion (posts: 819)
Terrorism (posts: 884)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)


January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure


About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site

Support This Site

Recent Entries

Who Is Regan Theiler And Why Was She Allowed To Spend Public Funds On A Sole Source Contract For Her Part-Time Employer?
Not My Idea Of A Stimulating Evening
About Trump's Liberty University Speech
Do Not Place The Secessionist "Texas Independence" Measure On The 2016 Republican Primary Ballot
Conservatives Vs. Liberal On Those Engaged In Violent Political Activity
Tom Mechler Makes His Case Against Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Jared Woodfill Makes His Case For Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Questions About Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Reject The Call To Move 2016 Republican Party Of Texas Convention
It Is Too Bad That Political Parties Cannot Reject Voters Who Seek To Join, Stop Would-Be Candidates Who Want To Run


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs