Dear Abby: Our 7-year-old grandson has been a handful since he was able to walk. He has been sneaky and has told lies for as long as any of us can remember. He has been suspended from school more than 10 times for various things. He stole several hundred dollars from his mom’s purse and took it to school so he would have money to buy snacks. He stays awake longer than everyone else in the house so he can take things and hide them in his closet.
He knows what he does is wrong, but it doesn’t bother him. He is also abusive to his disabled sister. It is hard to imagine that a 7-year-old could give hate-filled looks that you don’t even see from adults. I’m afraid at the rate he is going, he will seriously hurt someone or be hurt himself.
He also has a very big heart. That is why we don’t understand what is going wrong in this little boy’s head. Please help if you can.
Grandma of a Bully
In North Carolina
Dear Grandma: Your grandson’s behavior may have something to do with the fact his disabled sibling needs more of his parents’ attention. Or he may have serious emotional problems. The boy needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional so his parents will understand what’s driving his behavior, and it can be addressed. Please don’t wait.
Dear Abby: I’m 17 and a few months ago I made the mistake of taking and sending nude photographs to my boyfriend. An adult co-worker, “Jim,” got the photographs without my knowledge or permission and showed them to my other co-workers, including managers. Jim threatened to continue showing the pictures around unless I did him a “favor.”
Out of distress, I quit my job, not realizing that managers had seen the photographs. I now know they were aware of the situation, but did nothing. How should I approach the situation? It would be very bad if my parents found out.
Facing the Consequences
In New Jersey
Dear Facing the Consequences: You now know why it’s a bad idea to send nude pictures, because once they are out of your control, anything can be done with them. While this is embarrassing, you should absolutely tell your parents what happened because they may want to take this matter to their lawyer. Your former employers ignored sexual harassment, attempted coercion and blackmail. If it can be proven, they should pay the price for it.
Dear Abby: May I share a pet peeve of mine? I wish you’d raise the consciousness of people who write obituaries and fail to mention the musician who provides the music for the funerals and memorials. The musician often does more preparation for the services than the pallbearers. Why are their names omitted? I usually want to know who they are when I attend.
Dear Wondering: I can think of a couple of reasons. The first is that some obituaries are actually taken from the eulogy, which may have been written prior to the death by someone in the family. If the obituary was written by an employee of a newspaper, the information may have been taken as part of a standard list of questions about the deceased and any survivors.
Frankly, I think it would be more suitable if the musician’s name was included on the program. If it hasn’t been included, there is nothing rude about telling the officiant or a family member how much you enjoyed the music and asking who provided it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.