Dear Ann Cannon • I’m a practicing Mormon with four grandchildren whose parents aren’t active. I’m wondering how much I can teach them about the church. What are your thoughts?
— Wants to Choose The Right
Dear CTR • I’ve known families where inactive Mormon parents are completely fine with grandparents taking the grandkids to church. I’ve also known families where the mere mention of the LDS Church causes heads to explode. A lot of it depends on the reasons why people left the church in the first place and on how much time has passed since the exodus occurred.
Whenever an adult child exits a “tribe” that a parent embraces — and that tribe can be political, cultural or social instead of merely religious — there’s usually some noise in the family. Complications are guaranteed to arise. Figuring out the new rules for engagement can be tricky for everyone involved. My advice? As difficult and even painful for you as it may be, defer to your kids’ wishes where their children are concerned. You would have wanted your parents to do the same for you, right?
Meanwhile, realize that (cliché alert) actions really do speak louder than words. Live what you believe with kindness and let things take care of themselves.
Dear Ann Cannon • My father wants to bequeath his old car (classic Mustang 1964) to his neighbor’s son. My dad has developed a very nice friendship with this immigrant family and has helped them with a few things like fixing fences, etc. The teenager, in turn, has helped my dad many times. This friendship has been really good for my dad. The car needs work but is still worth a lot of money. My brother, who is financially well off, is very upset about our dad’s plans for the car. He’s threatening to make a stink. Help!!
— Stressed Out Sister
Dear Sister • A ’64 Mustang? Wow. Now that’s a car I’d love to own myself, especially if it’s blue. There’s definitely a part of me that understands your brother’s consternation, is what I’m saying.
However! Your father can give HIS CAR to whomever he wants — something your brother has apparently forgotten. I think the best you can do is remind him of this fact and then step back. In the end, you can’t control your brother’s reaction. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could force others to be their most reasonable selves, though?
A final thought here. Although your brother is unhappy with his decision, I applaud your dad for making arrangements now instead of leaving it to others when he no longer can. His actions today may save your family from more trouble down the road.
Dear Ann Cannon • I recently adopted a rescue dog. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but this animal and I have not bonded. I feed it, I walk it, I even pet it. But I don’t like this dog, and I’m pretty she’s not that crazy about me. I feel like a failure with this dog, but I am reluctant to take her back to the shelter. What do you think I should do?
— Foster Father Failure
Dear FFF • Actually, I’d be interested to hear what our readers have to say about this issue. Me, I think you both deserve better. That’s why I vote for placing your dog in a situation that will allow someone else to give her a more suitable home. There are a number of animal rescue operations along the Wasatch Front you can contact to make this happen. Don’t let feelings of shame prevent you from taking this constructive step. Good luck to you and your dog!