DEAR AMY My son had a daughter when he was 19. Although he did not marry the child's mother, his daughter lived with him 50 percent of the time. He married someone else when the daughter was 5. His wife never accepted his daughter, and he went along. Many years later, my son now has two more daughters with this wife and the situation has not changed much. His eldest daughter, now 19, is never included in family holidays, pictures, etc. When I have confronted him about this, he says he has to pick his battles. I have cried a million tears and have always let my granddaughter know that no matter what, I am always there for her. Recently, my son kicked her out of his house for smoking in her room, and because she didn't clean her room. She is now living at her mother's. My son is building a huge new home. They have designated a room in the garage portion of the house as the oldest daughter's room. She will have to go through the garage to have access to the house. I am appalled! Other family members tell me to keep quiet or it will cause damage to my relationship with my son! Who will stand up for my granddaughter?
DEAR HEARTBROKEN Your son is not a very good father; he seems to have rejected his oldest daughter at different times and in various ways.
According to you, despite your attempts, you don't seem to have been much of an influence on your son during the years. Given your belief (and some evidence) that he is such a poor parent, you should urge your granddaughter to not live in his household.
Your advocacy should extend to encouraging her to make positive choices so she can maximize her own potential. Living in a household with Cinderella status has not been good for her so far, and it wouldn't be good for her in the future.
Be honest with your son. Do not expect him to change, however.