DEAR ABBY: I have a concern as a grandmother about our youngest grandchild, age 10. He is addicted to video games. There has been quite a lot of publicity on how bad this can be for children.
When we visit, he never comes to greet us or even to talk to us. Once when we were getting ready to go out to dinner, he was screaming at his mom and stomping his feet so hard that the ceiling light was shaking.
We love our daughter-in-law very much, but we feel she wants to be her kids’ “friend” and not a mom. She’s a teacher and is well-educated. Our son, who is also well-educated, does none of the disciplining as far as we can see. We can’t figure it out.
This grandson is only 10 now, but it won’t be long until he’s 13. I am afraid he will get violent with his mom or even hurt himself. Should we mind our own business and just look away? We have never interfered in our children’s business. – WORRIED GRANDPARENT IN THE SOUTH
DEAR WORRIED: A 10-year-old child having a full-blown tantrum (which is what you describe) is not normal. He should have learned to regulate his emotions by now. There may be things going on with your grandson that you’re not aware of. I do think you should mention to your son and daughter-in-law that you are concerned and why.
DEAR ABBY: If I have several guests sitting around chatting, and they start getting loud discussing politics or religion, would it be rude for me to say, “No discussing politics or religion”? Some friends become very loud. I guess they think if they yell, people will abide by what they have to say. – MEDIATING IN TEXAS
DEAR MEDIATING: It would not be rude to say, “Hey, folks, this is getting heated, so let’s change the subject. Now.”