Life Advice



Ask Amy: Granddad’s rough-housing leads to tears

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Your advice?

– Protective Mom

Dear Protective: It never ceases to amaze me that some adults can look at children who are obviously distressed – and not adjust their adult behavior.

Let’s stipulate that this grandfather is not intentionally being a bully, but he is behaving the way we knows how to behave – and has always behaved with children. He may justify this by believing he is “toughening up the little guy!” – but this behavior from a beloved adult is extremely confusing, as your son articulated so well. And, mind you, the last thing this grandfather wants is for this child to become so tough that he either retaliates (for which his grandfather would likely punish him) or simply avoids him.

Coach your son to express his needs: “Grandpa, no – too rough!”

Also pass along your son’s quoted comments and ask your father-in-law: “Can you dial down the rough-housing? It’s pretty hard on him.”


Dear Amy: My 30-year-old (younger) sister is transfixed by a man who in another time would be called “a rake.” He is handsome, charming, and has a reputation as a womanizer.

My sister “Cecile” is lovely, trusting and sweet – and a bit naïve. She has had a few relationships of varying duration and has been burned a few times.

My instincts to try to protect my sister are very strong, but I don’t want to overstep or alienate her.

Your suggestion?


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