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Grandparents wonder if they are playing favorites

DEAR ABBY: We have three grandchildren, and we feel strongly about the importance of a college education. When the first one graduated from high school, we gave him $500 for graduation, plus an additional $1,500 to be used for college-related expenses. He had already indicated that he was enrolling in college.

When the second one graduated, we gave him a $500 graduation gift. Because he had committed to joining the Navy, we assured him that he would also receive $1,500 if and when he enrolled in college. Since then, we have been accused of not respecting his career choice, showing favoritism and other accusations too numerous to list here.

Are we ogres for wanting and encouraging our grandchildren to attend college? We'd like your opinion.


DEAR WELL-MEANING: Your mistake has been not taking into consideration that your grandchildren are individuals. Your second grandson is likely to find his career path as part of his military service. One could argue that you are favoring the grandchild who is following the career path you are biased toward, and from that perspective, it does appear you are playing favorites. You may want to rethink what you are doing. Your Navy-bound grandson may have a need for that money at some point.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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