Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dr. Yael,

What a spoiled Ingrate that lady is that complained about Passover. She actually had to make ten meals and had no help from her grandchildren. Nebach!!!!


Oh spare me the melodrama. She has no business whatsoever complaining! At least her grandchildren come to her. What about the many people whose grandchildren and children do not come and they would be happy to make thousands of meals for them. I’m totally disgusted. I had to read the letter to my husband. My older married kids do not come at all. The pain and the heartache and the embarrassment is just too much to take. For whatever reason they have decided they are not coming. The house is too small or any excuse under the sun. When we were growing up, and even by my neighbors now, you just pile in the kids and they sleep wherever. The idea is to be together on the holidays, which my older two absolutely shun. The aveiros of onas devarim, lack of kibbud av v’em, and lashon hara is what they are exhibiting each time.

I am a shul-goer religiously, but on the major holidays that they do not come, I can’t even show my face because everybody will say where are your kids? Aren’t they splitting the holidays? Why didn’t they come? Where are they? Who’s over by you? My two younger married kids always come. The respect they have is magnificent to see, but it will never take away the pain. I keep putting myself in a position of the in-laws. I would be mortified if my child did not spend equal time with the other side. What a lack of respect, what a lack of kindness and no, I have never been invited to them, though I have invited them. I have many, many neighbors that are happy to put up anybody and everybody and their kids come. The pain that is causing my younger two children is heart-wrenching. They see the lack of respect, the tears, the heartache, but what can they say? For shalom bayis, they say nothing.

So, to see your readers with their stupid chats about helping out makes many of us whose kids do not come sick. Do they not know that there are other people besides them whose kids do not come? Forget helping, these kids refuse to come, so we don’t want to hear about people whose kids don’t help or G-d-forbid they have to cook for them. This is something we would love to do.

I know we have to accept the challenges we are given in life because they are all from above. We understand that, but that doesn’t take away the pain, the excruciating pain that my husband and I and younger two siblings go through every single holiday. I have to psych myself up to read more and more books on emunah and cry myself to sleep every night. I don’t need to see letters from ungrateful, spoiled grandparents, who are given the gift of seeing their grandchildren every holiday.

Broken Heart


Dear Broken Heart,

My own heart broke as I read your letter. You are not alone. Over the years I have been able to reunite such children with their parents. Often I have been successful, but sometimes the children do not want to be involved in therapy.

Every situation is different. Also, it is important to try to remember that your children may still love you, even if they don’t come for the holidays. Perhaps they have more difficult children or really need more space for whatever reason. I know it is very hard to deal with, but this does not mean that they do not want to have a relationship with you. Perhaps if you’re able to look beyond the holidays, they will feel more comfortable to spend time with you.

While you are correct that everyone should be counting their blessings, there are some married children who come to their parents and expect too much. They will sometimes not help and expect babysitting as well. In large families, the singles who are still at home sometimes feel taken advantage of by their married siblings.

Every situation is different. I printed a letter from a mother who felt overwhelmed. In no way does that letter justify the pain that you are enduring. Is there anyone that your children will listen to? Can you talk to them about your feelings in a way where they will not feel attacked, so they do not get defensive. Can they spend other time with you that may logistically work better for everyone? Please reach out to me privately if you feel I can be helpful. I am sorry if the column that I printed hurt you. That was never the intention. Please be mochel. I wish you Hatzlacha in this difficult situation and may you be zoche to enjoy your children and grandchildren for many years to come!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at