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Hola Brus,

I thought you might help us with this problem. Last year, our granddaughter asked if we would give her a 21st birthday present of a trip here to Bucerias to visit us.  We were delighted to do this, as we hadn’t seen her in almost four years.  At first it was fun catching up and introducing her to our friends and some of the local sights.  However, after a few days, she “disappeared” with some new-found friends her age.  By this, we mean that she wouldn’t wake up until afternoon, eat quickly and leave.  She wouldn’t come back until well past midnight and sometimes just before daybreak.  It was obvious that she had been drinking and who knows what else.  Needless to say, my husband and I didn’t get much sleep.  When she left after two weeks, we felt a great sense of relief.  Our daughter, her mother, said that her daughter told her she had the best time of her life and, perhaps our mistake here, we didn’t bring up our concerns.

Yesterday, our granddaughter emailed us saying she had such a great time with us last year, she’d like us to give her a visit again for her 22nd birthday!  Whereas we love our granddaughter very much, we just can’t spend sleepless nights worrying about her. What do we say?


Hola Anxious,

It is obvious that you can’t go through this experience again. Whereas there is a list of “white lies” you could tell her, from having rented out part of your house to being away on a trip at the time she wants to come down, I strongly suggest you tell her the truth.  Begin by telling her how much you love her and how good it was to see her. Then express your concerns with her last visit, and that you did not share these concerns with her mother. (She may respond defensively, but I think she’ll be relieved to here that her mother doesn’t know.) If she really wants to see you, it will be under a very different set of rules. The bottom line is that you will not be in a position of worrying about her safety again.

Anxious: if you decide to pay for her whole trip to stay with you, make it clear to her that she will have to agree to reasonable bedtime hours and alcohol consumption. Also, if she doesn’t adhere to your rules, you’ll have no choice but to inform her mom and send her home on the first plane north.  You may also want to consider the following options for your granddaughter’s birthday. One, you will pay for her plane ticket down and, as she is legally an adult, she is entirely on her own as far as paying for hotel and food, in which case you’d love to get together when she would like.

Two: you send her a gift of a plane ticket to another destination of her choice.  Or three: you send her a gift that has nothing to do with a trip.

So you first have to decide whether you yourselves want to consider these choices or any other option. The important communication you are making to her is that you love her and would like to see her, but never again under the same circumstances as last time.

All the best to you and your granddaughter in this matter.






By | 2013-12-27T09:19:19-06:00 February 5th, 2014|Hola Brus|Comments Off on Anxious

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