DEAR ABBY: I have some advice for "Lacking Why," the girl who is wondering why the amount of allowance money that Grandpa gives her and her sisters varies from one girl to the other: Stop comparing the amounts and try focusing on how attentive each of you is to your grandfather.
Do you all visit him with the same frequency? Do you all write thank-you notes for his generosity? Do you all phone him the same number of times each week? Do you all remember his birthday with a nice card or small gift? Do you take turns baking him a birthday cake?
I suspect, as with my grandchildren, there are wide disparities in the way these sisters treat Grandpa. Why would a person who ignores him expect the same generosity as one who showers him with love and affection? I have two grown grandkids who treat me differently and, son of a gun, I respond in kind.
- Connecticut Grandma
DEAR GRANDMA: That letter resonated with a large number of people, and what follows is a sampling of their responses:
DEAR ABBY: If Grandpa intends that each granddaughter receive the same sum of money by age 18, and he started giving the money to each of them at the same time, he would have to give them different amounts.
- Numbers Guy in San Mateo, Calif.
DEAR ABBY: My father did the same thing. Each year I received more money from my dad than my brothers did. Eventually I asked him why, and it turned out he felt that over the years he had helped them more in other ways. In his mind, he was trying to even things out.
- Solved the Puzzle in Denver
DEAR ABBY: It might be that those in need, those who invest wisely or those who respond kindly receive more.
I help my kids and grandkids based on what their needs are and how they spend the money. It is not a matter of favoritism. And being thanked once in a while doesn't hurt, either.
- Patricia in Tempe, Ariz.