Clerk ques­tions if she should re­port po­ten­tial child abuse

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY >> I’m a 20-year-old col­lege stu­dent and have had a job at the same re­tail store for two years. A few weeks ago, a mother walked in hold­ing a baby that ap­peared to be about 6 months old. The first thing I no­ticed was that he had nu­mer­ous bruises. There were pro­nounced bruises un­der both eyes, an­other large one on his tem­ple, and sev­eral more vis­i­ble on his arms and legs.

I have heard hor­ror sto­ries about par­ents whose in­fants have a med­i­cal con­di­tion that causes them to bruise eas­ily, but the par­ents are ac­cused of child abuse. This mother seemed at­ten­tive to her baby, and I saw noth­ing in her be­hav­ior to make me think her child was in any dan­ger. I didn’t say any­thing, but I keep won­der­ing if I should have called the po­lice or in­formed my man­ager.

I’ve been telling my­self that there may have been an in­no­cent ex­pla­na­tion for the child’s in­juries, but I don’t know if I screwed up. I didn’t want to med­dle, and now I’m wor­ried the baby might be suf­fer­ing be­cause I didn’t speak up. Any ad­vice on what I should have done/should do in the fu­ture would be ap­pre­ci­ated.

— Sec­ond thoughts in Kansas

DEAR SEC­OND THOUGHTS >> Be­cause you were un­sure about what to do, you should have writ­ten down the wo­man’s li­cense num­ber, if pos­si­ble, and alerted the store man­ager so the mat­ter could be han­dled ac­cord­ing to store pol­icy.

How­ever, if no pol­icy is in place, you could have con­tacted Child­help.org for guid­ance. It of­fers preven­tion, in­ter­ven­tion and treat­ment pro­grams and has helped more than 10 mil­lion chil­dren at risk or in trou­ble. Child­help. org has a na­tional toll-free hot­line: 800-422-4453.

DEAR ABBY >> What is the pro­to­col for di­vorced par­ents pay­ing for the re­hearsal din­ner for their son who is get­ting mar­ried? My ex-wife ex­pects me to pay for a sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger por­tion of the ex­penses, yet at the time of our divorce she in­sisted on split­ting the as­sets 50/50.

My opin­ion is that be­cause we are equal in the par­ent­ing, we should di­vide the ex­penses 50/50. I’m will­ing to con­cede to her some credit IF she does a sig­nif­i­cant amount of work and plan­ning (over and above my own), but this should be ne­go­ti­ated ahead of time. We are both em­ployed and have good in­comes. We are both re­mar­ried and our spouses work. What’s your take on this, Abby?

— Right down the mid­dle

DEAR DOWN THE MID­DLE >> The par­ents of the groom tra­di­tion­ally bear the cost of the re­hearsal din­ner. Be­cause you and your son’s mother are di­vorced, she should pay for half — un­less there is such a dis­par­ity in your in­comes that it would cause her fi­nan­cial stress. If your ex needs “credit,” then by all means dis­cuss it with her. This is a time to put aside old griev­ances and cel­e­brate, if only for the sake of your son.

DEAR ABBY >> What do you think of the idea that when you have a de­ci­sion to make and it’s between your head and your heart, to choose your head? We are cur­rently try­ing to find a place to live af­ter my hus­band re­tires, and we are hav­ing a dif­fi­cult time try­ing to de­cide on a house. It’s tough to say no to a place that your heart loves.

— In­de­ci­sive in New York

DEAR IN­DE­CI­SIVE >> I’m sure it is. How­ever, in­vest­ing in a house is dif­fer­ent than adopt­ing a puppy. When mak­ing a de­ci­sion that will have fi­nan­cial con­se­quences — such as buy­ing a house — you will have fewer re­grets if you think with your HEAD.

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