Sitter’s pushy granddaughter is a concern for working mom

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: Because my husband and I work, I take our 6-month-old to a sitter several times a week. I understand little ones tend to be mean sometimes — hitting, biting and pushing — but in this case, it’s a little different.
My sitter cares for her 3-year-old granddaughter as well as her clients’ children, and her granddaughter pushes the littler ones. I have seen her push a 1-year-old down. I have never observed any of the other children do it, only the granddaughter.
I wouldn’t be so worried if my daughter were 2 and could defend herself, but she’s only 6 months old. She is crawling, sitting up and standing already, and I’m gravely worried the girl will harm my infant. I don’t want my baby ending up with a head injury. What can I do to try to resolve this? — DEEPLY CONCERNED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR DEEPLY CONCERNED: Talk to the sitter about your concerns. Ask if it is possible to keep the older girl separate from the younger ones, however, the only way to be absolutely certain your little one is safe would be to change babysitters.
DEAR ABBY: I made a friend on Facebook. “Drew” and I texted through Messenger, and I went to ride four-wheelers with him one day. We hit it off great. We started dating, and he moved in with me for a few months.
In the beginning, Drew didn’t mention he was working only part time. After he told me he had been moved to part time, I told him he needed to tell his boss he needed full time or a different job. I wrote a comment to that effect on their page, and his boss texted me back saying Drew can work as much as he wants! He also said Drew hasn’t worked full time since he started working there.
Well, Drew got mad at me and left. I still love him. I thought he was my soul mate. Should I keep wishing we could get back together? — FEELING LIFELESS

DEAR FEELING LIFELESS: No! In a sense, you were taken for a ride, and I’m not talking about four-wheelers. Your next soul mate should be someone who is completely honest and, preferably, fully employed. Drew is neither.
DEAR ABBY: I have been remarried for four years to a wonderful man who treats me like a queen. However, he and my 18-year-old daughter dislike each other, which causes a huge amount of stress and conflict. They fight, and I’m stuck in the middle. I don’t know what I can do to resolve this problem. I love them both with all my heart! — DESPERATE FOR PEACE

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DEAR DESPERATE: I wish you had mentioned why your husband dislikes your daughter and vice versa. Is he overbearing and trying to parent her? That is YOUR job, not his.
Your daughter is no longer 14. At 18, she is now considered to be an adult, and because the “combatants” are both adults, they should act like it, be civil and refrain from turning their disagreements into open warfare. Your mistake has been allowing yourself to be placed in the middle. A better solution would be to get family counseling if your daughter plans to continue to live with you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)