Dear Gwendolyn:


I am concerned about the future of my granddaughter. She graduated from high school two years ago and attended college (for one semester) last fall. Now she is not working and not in school. She came to the family Christmas dinner with her boyfriend’s 3-year-old girl who constantly screamed while she was there. She told the family that her boyfriend has full custody of his daughter.


This is the problem: Her boyfriend did not come to the dinner, but instead sent his sister who never uttered a word beyond good afternoon. I told her mother that I felt she is too young to become a stepmother. My daughter told me the young man (age 26) was going to school. She continued to tell me that he played football and had a chance to be chosen for the pros, and this would give my granddaughter money—Jacquelyn

Dear Jacquelyn:

How silly is that? Your daughter apparently does not have your wisdom—not even an ounce of it. You are correct in feeling that your granddaughter is not only too young to become a stepmother, but should be focusing on what she can do for herself, and not what a man can do for her. Just because he has a chance to enter professional football does not guarantee he will marry your granddaughter. But for the present, he needs her to care for his child. Sometimes it works out great and two people can be happy. Often stepchildren turn out more loving than your biological children, but that is a chance—a big chance.

Jacquelyn, it’s not the child that is causing your concern, it is the fact that your granddaughter is in the prime of her life—a time to build her own career and not to be “tied down” with the responsibility of a child. But let me tell you this: When women and men are young and in love, they don’t listen. However, too often they later wish they had.

(Do you have a son or grandson age 10-17? Order “DECISIONS In The Life Of A Growing Male Youth.” To order go to website: or write to her at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C., 27605-0066. To receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope or e-mail her at:

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