Boy’s poor eating habits frustrate his grandparent

Published 8:21 am Thursday, February 15, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I have a close relationship with my grandchildren and their parents. My 12-year-old grandson eats nothing except fast food and refuses everything else. His parents allow it and even have food delivered for him. His 8-year-old sister watches closely and is starting to head in the same direction. What they do at home is one thing, but it’s a problem for me when they visit, especially for three or four days. Help! – FRUSTRATED COOK

DEAR COOK: Have the child’s parents considered that their son may have an eating disorder? If they haven’t, it may be time for them to discuss his eating habits with his pediatrician. Although some children may be spoiled and catered to, others may need medical or psychological intervention. Because this presents a problem for you when your grandchildren visit, rather than waste the food they refuse to eat, have their parents send their food with them.
DEAR ABBY: I am 4’11” and wear a size 5 shoe. Yesterday, my husband and I went to a department store to buy a pair of slippers for him that were on sale. The slippers were kept where socks are sold (not in the shoe section), so there was no chair for him to sit on to try them on like there is in the shoe section. (He has balance issues.)
I then went to check out shoes for myself in the shoe section, and guess what? The rack was so high, I couldn’t reach the box, let alone see what was in them. This has happened to me several times. Short people wear small-sized shoes. And, as you can guess, the largest size was on the bottom. I’m sure shoppers who wear large sizes don’t appreciate having to drop to the floor to get their shoes. Is anyone thinking out there? It’s just common sense. What say you? – SMALL GAL IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR GAL: Speaking as another short person (5’2 1/2″ and shrinking), I feel your pain and agree with your logic. What I say is this: Talk about this with the store manager and perhaps they will rethink how the shoes are displayed. It’s worth a try.
DEAR ABBY: In his last days, my stepfather asked that I not tell my brothers, my mom (his ex) and other family members about his cancer. I struggled with it for months. After his passing, the family found out I had known and hadn’t told them, and they blamed me for not telling them. I told them he didn’t want them to know. They said he didn’t mean it. (Oh, yes, he DID!)
The problem with them is they are drama-filled, which is why even I usually don’t deal with them. They called me names, but I was only doing what he specifically asked me to do. How do I deal with this? – SAD STEPSON IN WASHINGTON

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DEAR STEPSON: Your brothers appear to be blaming you because they weren’t as close to their stepfather as they might have been. I will assume that you see them infrequently. If you must see them and the subject comes up, repeat this mantra: “Dad asked me not to say anything. If he’d wanted you to have that information, HE would have told you.” (And that includes your mother.)
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.
Good advice for everyone – teens to seniors – is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)