Dear Annie

Respecting boundaries, bridging gaps

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: We have neighbors who reside in a cul-de-sac that is at the rear of our property. Our property is located on a U-shaped half-mile neighborhood, which is ideal for walking. Over time, these neighbors have chosen to repeatedly cut through our property on an almost daily basis to facilitate their walking routine. It’s gotten to the point where these neighbors act as if they are “entitled” to treat our property as a public gateway from their neighborhood to ours.

I would note that there was a time when we had friendly interactions with these neighbors; but today, they cut through our property and avoid any acknowledgement of us, even when we are outside doing work on our property.

Please give us direction as to how we can politely convey that our property is not a public walkway. — Not a Cut Through

Dear CutThrough: The real issue here is that they are not asking for your permission to walk on your property. Besides being rude, there is always the possibility that if they are on your property and something happens to them, you could be held liable.

The best way to stop them from walking on your property is to ask them politely not to walk through. You could also do some gardening and plant some nice spring flowers and say you don’t want them messed up with foot traffic.

Had they asked in the first place, you probably would have been neighborly, but their sense of entitlement makes you not want to. If they ignore your requests, then you should consult an attorney.

Dear Annie: I am a grandma, mammaw and granny to six amazing grandchildren. Two of my three sons have these children. My sons are constantly ignoring me. They treat me like I do not exist.

I raised them by myself after their father tragically passed away. I did my best to give them a great life. They all mean the world to me. I just need a little advice from you on how to find a way to see my grandchildren.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. — Heartbroken Mammaw.

Dear Heart Broken Mammaw: Be patient and continue to reach out to your sons and find out what their needs are. Do they need help with the kids, or are there sporting events you could attend?

Tell your sons how much you desire a relationship with your grandchildren. Grandparents can be a very positive influence on grandchildren’s lives, but the parents have to allow it. Grandparents tend to be more patient and have a little more life experience than parents who are with their children every day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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