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Unkind Image Sharing

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: Our daughter was almost ready for kindergarten and still was not the least bit interested in writing, coloring or even "Mister Rogers" on PBS, and she was always off playing with her toys or in the backyard. As a precaution, we decided to have her eyes checked before starting kindergarten. Much to our surprise, she tested farsighted. The reason she was not interested in TV, writing or coloring was that she could not see that well. Corrective eyeglasses made a world of a difference. So please include in your advice that before putting kids on medication, have their eyes and hearing tested. -- Went at the Problem From a Different Lens

Dear Lens: Thank you for your letter. My hope is that it helps other parents get their children's eyes tested as a possibility for why they are not reading.

Dear Annie: I've been friends with "Keith" for 15 years. We talk almost daily, enjoy the same things and go on some road trips every year. For the most part, I enjoy his company.

Here's the problem: Keith loves to sneak cellphone photos of people he knows. Invariably, the photos are unflattering, and sometimes they are just mean. He has taken photos of friends who have gained weight, photos showing how they are dressed and photos that make fun of how much they just ate.

One friend has some medical issues. Keith snaps photos that make him look extra sick or photos of his medical problem, such as when his hair is falling out.

The worst part is that he sends the photos to other friends and always writes something snarky or funny.

If he does this with all his friends, I'm sure he does it with me, too, and I told him to stop. It is hurtful and strange. But eventually, he does it again, and I find out by accident.

I don't have many friends, and I enjoy spending time with him, but this photo thing is childish and mean.

 

He's 56, short, balding, overweight and missing several teeth. What should I do? -- Friend of the Bad Shutterbug

Dear Friend of the Bad Shutterbug: Your friend is so desperate for attention that his actions are cruel and borderline sadistic. Laughing at other people's imperfections, or just everyday moments of life, is not funny at all and says a great deal more about Keith than about the person in the photo.

While he might be "fun" to hang out with, I would have a long talk with him about your disapproval of making fun of others and taking their picture without their consent. At least 12 states have laws that pertain specifically to nonconsensual image sharing. Tell Keith to cut it out or you will find a new friend, and then follow through.

Dear Annie: My youngest daughter holds my past mistakes as an excuse to not allow me to see my grandchildren. It hurts when she judges and belittles me in front of them, and I often go home in tears. I am seeking counseling on how to communicate and save my relationship with her, which has been a roller coaster. I need the love of my little ones. I get pretty quiet with this going on. I don't interfere. What can I do? -- Hurt Grandmother

Dear Hurt Grandmother: What you can do is continue what you are doing. Say you are sorry for the past and that you would like to repair the future. In other words, make amends with her. I'm not sure that your daughter is using your past mistakes as an excuse; rather, she is hurt and afraid by the past. The more you can own your mistakes and show her through actions how much better you are doing, the more repair will happen.

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"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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