### Challenging Parenting Choices: How It Silenced My Daughter-in-Law for Two Years

Dear Amy: Approximately two years ago, I made a remark to our daughter-in-law, suggesting that I felt she was being excessively strict with our 8-year-old granddaughter over what I perceived to be a minor issue.

After a debate, she has since ceased communication with both me and my wife. Our son has opted to stay uninvolved.

I am eager to reconcile and move forward, believing that a single discussion could resolve the tension. However, I am unsure how to proceed given her silence and continued refusal to acknowledge us. There is no intermediary available to mediate the situation.

Do you have any recommendations?

– A Frustrated Grandfather

Dear Frustrated Grandfather: Grandparents often bring a unique perspective on child-rearing, shaped by years of experience. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that without living with the child, one may not possess all the necessary information to judge the significance of a parenting issue.

You could consider directly expressing your desire to reconcile through a letter or email instead of seeking a mediator.

A simple message acknowledging regret for the estrangement caused by your comment, along with a genuine desire to make amends and move forward, could be a good starting point.

Admit that your interference may have been unwelcome and poorly timed, but emphasize the sincerity of your intentions. Express that your family feels incomplete without her presence.

Invite her to share her feelings and assure her of your commitment to repairing the relationship for the benefit of all involved.

In such unfortunate circumstances, where one party is indifferent to the relationship, the onus is on the other to make an effort towards reconciliation.

Dear Amy: I am an art historian who completed graduate school around five years ago. Currently pursuing my Ph.D. and engaging in teaching, I am beginning to receive invitations to present and participate in academic conferences.

My boyfriend wishes to accompany me to my first conference to show his support, but I am hesitant about this. The preparation and nerves surrounding the event make me uncomfortable with the idea of having him there as an additional distraction.

While he takes this personally, I struggle to explain that my reluctance is not a personal slight but rather a professional preference.

– Nervous

Dear Nervous: It is generally considered unprofessional for adults to bring companions on business trips, with few exceptions allowing for a “plus-one.”

Your concerns highlight the reasons behind this etiquette. The intense focus required for preparation and the nerve-wracking nature of the event itself make it challenging to manage additional distractions.

While your boyfriend’s desire to support you is commendable, professional decorum dictates that such support should be provided from a distance.

Once you gain more experience, there may be opportunities for partners to attend events, but for now, prioritizing your work, projecting professionalism, and engaging with colleagues in your field are crucial.

Dear Amy: A reader inquired about disposing of a wedding ring with negative energy.

I have an amusing anecdote related to jewelry.

Following the end of a relationship, I placed a unique necklace, a gift from someone, in a small bag and tossed it out of my car window in an area where it would likely be found.

A year later, I spotted a woman wearing the same distinctive necklace in her arrest photo published in the local newspaper.

The idea that someone found and cherished the necklace brought me joy.

– Amused

Dear Amused: Your story about the transformative power of jewelry is delightful and intriguing.

The continuing impact of the necklace’s energy is a testament to its symbolic significance. It’s heartwarming to know that its journey continues to unfold.

For advice, you can reach out to Amy Dickinson via email at [email protected] or by mail at Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also connect with her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.