Dear Queenie,

  My son’s new wife won’t let our grandson (his son with his ex-wife) visit us unless we also take her daughter with her ex-husband (my son’s step-daughter). She says it’s because the little girl cries all the time her big brother (step-brother) is away. We think it’s just because she is looking for free baby-sitting.

  Queenie, why should we have to take care of the little girl too?—Imposed on


Dear Imposed on,

  Face it; the little girl may not be related to you or your son or your grandson by blood, but she is still an important part of your son’s and grandson’s lives, and so is her mother.

  You do not say how old your grandson is, or how well the children get along with each other. Is he old enough to help you look after his little step-sister? And do they get along with each other well enough that he can be trusted to do so?

  You would be wise not to try to shut the little girl out. Who knows? You might even come to love her as though she really were a blood relation, and you would be setting a good example for your grandson.