Sunday, October 10, 2021

When to Speak, When Not

Question:     My best friend since fifth grade, Grace, just told me she and her husband, Nick, want to take in her sister's children. Her sister and brother-in-law are going out of the country for five or six months for work. Their high school kids need to be in boarding school or, Grace could let them live with her and her family. There are four children, freshmen twins, a junior, and a senior. The thing is, Grace and Nick have three kids of their own in a three-bedroom house. I told her what I thought, and she got mad at me. Now it's my fault if things go wrong. I'm going to have to stop talking to her unless you can help me. What did I do? What can I do?

Dear Friend,     The first and second questions go together. You can't do anything. It is Grace and Nick's home, their life, and their decision. But I do know, if you stop talking to her, you cannot provide support or offer suggestions of any kind. Remember, you wouldn't be talking. My cousin once said, if your adult kids (or a friend) want to share something with you, (1) listen without talking. (2) When they say something important, you respond, "Ah." (3) When they finish talking, say, "Keep me posted." 
Regarding the first question, they didn't ask for your permission so, don't tell them what to do. Grace was telling you about a decision they had already made. Be happy for them. Encourage her. Tell Grace you will keep her and her family in your prayers. Then, remember to do so.

Doris Gaines Rapp

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