Dear Amy: Re­cently a 10- year- old re­ported tome that her friend’s daddy had slapped her on her bot­tom twice and also held her in a way that­made her un­com­fort­able.

The Denver Post - - LIFE& CULTURE - By Amy Dick­in­son Send ques­tions via e- mail to askamy@ tribune. com or write to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

The child has told him not to touch her or hold her, but he per­sisted. ( The dad has two chil­dren.) The child has told me that her par­ents are friendly with this cou­ple and that ef­forts to in­form her folks about this “toucher” re­sulted in the father min­i­miz­ing the events and dis­miss­ing them as “noth­ing.”

When she told me, I in­formed her that no one has the right to touch a child against that child’s will, and if it per­sists, she’s to seek proper au­thor­i­ties by di­al­ing 911.

When she told her father what I had said, he be­came en­raged and called me, scream­ing at me and also scream­ing at the child. He “blamed the vic­tim” which is, inmy mind, a very trau­matic re­sponse for the child— who did noth­ing wrong. I’m deeply hurt and very con­flicted about this whole thing and would like your ad­vice.— Pro­tec­tive

Dear Pro­tec­tive: My con­cern is that no 10- year- old should be ex­pected to know what the “proper au­thor­i­ties” are or to call 911.

The child al­ready was do­ing what she knows she is sup­posed to do, which is to tell her par­ents— and when they min­i­mized it, tell an­other re­spon­si­ble adult ( you) about what hap­pened and how she feels about it. If you felt this in­ci­dent rose to the level of alarm, you should call the po­lice or child pro­tec­tive ser­vices to re­port this, so they could in­ves­ti­gate and make sure she is safe.

It seems this girl lives in a house­hold where the par­ents shout first ask ques­tions later. I hope you can man­age to stay close so she knows she al­ways has some­one who will take her se­ri­ously and do right by her.

Dear Amy: My wife babysits a 1- year- old. We also have our own tod­dler. The lit­tle one she watches is gen­er­ally a sweet child, but she is sick all the time.

We found out yes­ter­day that the baby’s 3- year- old brother ( whom my wife does not babysit) has pneu­mo­nia. Still, their mother was con­sid­er­ing tak­ing both chil­dren to their sep­a­rate babysit­ters the next day.

This hap­pens so fre­quently that our whole house­hold is get­ting sick. I un­der­stand that tod­dlers are germ fac­to­ries, but it seems pretty dis­cour­te­ous to haul your sick kids around for oth­ers to watch while they spread more germs.

Se­condly ( and this may be a side ef­fect of not feel­ing well), the lit­tle one can be very ag­gres­sive with our son. Two days ago she bit him hard enough to leave a mark for the re­main­der of the day. When this be­hav­ior hap­pens, my son looks so con­fused and sad as to why some­one is hit­ting or bit­ing him, which in turn up­sets my wife. How would you ap­proach the child’s par­ents about the health is­sues and the need for dis­ci­pline?— Con­cerned Daddy

Dear Con­cerned: You don’t “dis­ci­pline” a 1- year- old child. You teach her. When­ever she is ag­gres­sive, she should be taken away from the other child. The adult should make eye con­tact and tell her, “Don’t hit. Don’t bite. That hurt Jamie.” A 1- year- old may think this is a game of sorts, based on how the adults re­act to her when she is do­ing it.

In terms of the health is­sues, your wife should have a frank talk with the child’s par­ents. Your wife is re­spon­si­ble for this child for the bulk of the day— she has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to speak truth­fully about her con­cerns, which should be fo­cused on the health of their child.

Dear Amy: I wanted to add my com­ment to the “no thanks” prob­lem ex­pe­ri­enced by so many. I was ir­ri­tated that my grand­daugh­ter never both­ered to thank me for birth­day or Christ­mas gifts, checks, etc. Af­ter her first year in col­lege, I still hadn’t re­ceived thanks for very gen­er­ous checks. So I de­cided enough was enough. For her birth­day, I sent a nice card. That’s all, just a card. To my amaze­ment, I re­ceived an in­stant re­sponse from my grand­daugh­ter via e- mail, thank­ing me pro­fusely for the thought­ful and lovely card. I laughed for an hour. Fi­nally got her at­ten­tion!— Grand­mom To­day’s Cryp­to­quip: At the ar­borists’ con­fer­ence, a large ban­ner de­clared “The best things in life are trees.”

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