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My grandmother is a very passionate environmentalist, and I live with her. She wants me to help her get her views out by typing letters, getting addresses for her, and spreading her message online. She puts a guilt trip on me if I don't want to get involved, saying: "I wish I had a daughter who would help me!". I believe wanting to protect the environment is good, but she mixes her views with religion in a way that others don't understand and it turns them off. She gets too emotional. How should I handle this?

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I paused at the use of the word 'manipulative' that one reader used, perhaps in their case it is I don't know...but it's interesting to me because I've been on both sides of this issue. I think many activists truly are coming from a very pure, passionate heart and it may never even occur to them that not everyone thinks the way they do. That being said, boundaries are always helpful. The first thought that came into my mind was a bit like a family Disney movie I admit (LOL) but I thought of you and grandma coming up with a small project you both could implement. You both would have different tasks. Maybe you take her ideas and 'edit' them into messages that are more appealing on a broad scale. In return, you get a credit for community or volunteer service. Do you attend a church, synagogue or other place of worship that might be interested? Or maybe just a public library, local group or kids clean up project that she could somehow participate in - even if you just take her one afternoon and she sits in the park watching and taking the photographs of the event. You could post online! True collaboration is a joy you will always remember and it CHANNELS her passion in a way that preserves her life force and keeps her healthy. I did a stint in AmeriCorps several years ago after my mom died and I came home to help my dad. We don't agree on everything but one day they needed people to shovel out a kid's playground. He LOVES anything outdoors like that, so my elderly dad donated a few shovels, pairs of gloves and pitched in with the kids and other volunteers. I always remember that. Many viewpoints are valid. I hope you find the solution that works best for you.
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My goodness. If you don't probably have enough to do already, go ahead and do it. However, this may be important to her, but you can only spread yourself so thin. Alot of other things are far more important than this and require alot of time and energy our your part, I am sure. We can't all be Super Woman, we have to take care of ourself as well. God Bless and Good Luck
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I would help her all I can and be thrilled to do so. My Mom was very passionate about causes and I was so happy that she was so alive in that way and kept her mind sharp and active. She could not type nor use a computer and while I did not always agree with her stance, I even sat down with her and helped her to write the most effective things possible and was honored to help her get her message across. Obviously your grandmother feels passionate about these issues and her opinions should not be censored by anyone. Why not ask her if it is okay to do some editing to help her make her messages more effective? And frankly, I know quite a few people who mix religion and environmentalism. Ask yourself- if it were you, how would you feel if your granddaughter couldn't be bothered to help you? Hey, can she go online? If so, give her my email. I would be glad to help her write her letters and find the addresses she needs and help her spread her message on various newspaper sites online.
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Depends on what it is. If you get the feeling you are being taken advantage of, then of course stop it before it gets out of hand. You have to treat the elderly like your child. What is best for them, do not let them take you for granted or take advantage of you. Treat them well and remind them if you have to!
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My wife has this issue with her mom. You need to pick your battles and be patient. You will find yourself explaining the same things over and over again.
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What an interesting question. You may be fortunate to have a grandmother who is passionate about a cause, and able to act on her convictions. Would she be willing to work with you to craft a message without the religious content that makes you (and other people) uncomfortable? Is your grandmother mentally acute or does she have some impairment? If her environmental messages are lucid, then an argument could be made for helping her out of filial duty (or grand-filial duty) -- at the very least helping her with clerical duties like list making that do not go against your sensibilities. Do you do other things to help her? Is she helping to raise you? Paying your bills? And why is she unable to type?

I think if you already do enough to assist her and if her messages are truly offensive you might arrange to do something supportive like drive her to Sierra Club meetings to give her an outlet and a venue for her passions. The high school student idea sounds good too -- who wouldn't like a personal assistant?
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My Mother, God love her can be very demanding at times and also manipulative! Sometimes I just take it and other times I just stand up to her. She is kind of sad and rather pitiful at times which she uses to her advantage. I would do what you are comfortable with and tet the rest go.
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Hello! I have a mother who says guilt-inducing things to me all the time. I think I would just offer to do what feels comfortable to you. I definitely would not go online with things you are not comfortable with! Is there anyone in your family who shares her enthusiasm and/or one who could type for her? I think this is one of those times when you have to make a boundary for yourself, in the kindest way possible. She may get angry, but she will no doubt find a solution on her own. Are there typing classes at a senior center in your area, if she is up to that? I hope this helps! You sound like a caring granddaughter.
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Could Gramma hire a high school student to come in and type/look up addresses for her a couple of hours a week?

It is too bad that she can't do what she wants to in supporting a cause, but it is not fair to drag you in when her messages make you uncomfortable. Living with her does not automatically make you her volunteer committee!

"Gram, you do have a granddaughter who will help you with a lot of things. This isn't one of them!"

Since you do support the basic cause but not your GM's brand of spreading the word, would it help any to do some environmental activities on your own, and show them to her? Sign the occasional online petition, perhaps make monetary contributions to causes you find especially compelling? Or instead, explain the GM what causes get your passionate endorsement. "Gram, I understand how strongly you feel about these issues. When I have extra time or money I can donate I direct it toward the XYZ issue. That is what I feel strongly about. Let's each pursue our own passions!"

I would not give in to demands that I associate my name with messages that I am uncomfortable with.
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