Dilemma: my daughter's new partner is spoiling my grandchildren

Jo Brand / 03 January 2018

A reader is concerned that her daughter's new boyfriend is spoiling her grandchildren with his lavish gifts.

Dilemma: I'm worried my daughter's new boyfriend is spoiling my grandchildren

My divorced daughter has recently taken up with a new man, who seems very nice. However, he keeps buying her children expensive presents – a £75 bag for my granddaughter, 10, and an expensive phone for her brother, 12.

I think it’s spoiling their good attitude to saving up for special things. My daughter doesn’t really like it, but doesn’t know how to say so.

Jo Brand's answer

Plus points are that the new man ‘seems very nice’. Now, while that is a huge improvement on ‘seems like a really unpleasant bully’, as yet, let’s be honest, you don’t know him that well. Time will tell.

And, second, he is generous, a positive characteristic and one to be admired in these days in which we see many hugely wealthy people holding on to every pound of their money as if their life depended on it.

He is obviously flaunting his (maybe relative) wealth to impress her and, in your opinion, win the love of her children.

Lots of adults think that children are easily swayed by having money poured on them, but you sound as though you have taught your daughter some values, judging by her reaction.

I always think the easiest way to tackle these issues is head on – and it is really your daughter’s problem: only indirectly yours. But you could offer to have a word on her behalf, if she is worried about upsetting him. Perhaps something along the lines of, ‘I’m having a quiet word, because my daughter really likes you and I know she doesn’t want to upset you…’

Alternatively encourage your daughter to do a version of this and emphasise what kind gestures she feels he’s made.

If he takes umbrage, then he’s not the understanding kind of guy she’d like him to be. But she will have to assess the risk of whether this will cause a rift – as she knows him much better than you (or I) do!

Meanwhile, spare a thought for your daughter’s new man. He may just be trying too hard because he is so keen!

Read answers to more reader dilemmas

Read more of Jo Brand's down-to-earth advice

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.