Dear Abby: A relative of mine has a 5-year-old son who is at least 20 or 30 pounds overweight. Everyone in the family is concerned about it, but no one knows how to bring it up to the parents without offending them.
Bullying is a huge deal among children, and we fear he might have trouble with other kids his age teasing him. However, we are more worried about his health than anything. Being that overweight is a lot for anyone, but especially a young child. What should we do?
– Someone Who Cares in Chicago
Dear Someone Who Cares: A way to raise the subject would be to mention your concern and ask what the boy’s pediatrician has had to say about it. While years ago doctors may have been reluctant to raise the issue, today they are much less so because the American Medical Association has declared obesity to be a disease. Also, as a relative, try to include the boy in physical activity you engage in.
Keep hands to yourself
Dear Abby: My 2-year-old granddaughter, Brayleigh, is friendly and outgoing. If you see us in the grocery store, she will probably smile at you and say, “Hi.” She would love it if you smiled back and said it, too, but PLEASE, resist the urge to touch her.
Your kids or grandkids may giggle when you play “got your nose” or “tickle your belly” with them, but that’s because they know and trust you. You are a total stranger to Brayleigh, even if you know me. While you may mean well, imagine a total stranger rushing up and putting their hands all over you! Abby, how about passing along the message?
– Brayleigh’s Grandma
Dear Grandma: I’m glad to help. No one should touch a child without first asking permission from the adult who is accompanying the little boy or girl. Not only could the child be frightened by it, but the parent could misunderstand and it could lead to an altercation.