Abby: Grandchild must be taught to respect boundaries

July 13, 2014 

DEAR ABBY: We were visiting my daughter and her husband when their 3-year-old, "Bethany," entered our room and rummaged through our medications. The door to the guest room was closed and the medications had been placed on a desk. Of course, everyone thought she had ingested some, so they rushed her to the ER. We were fortunate that nothing was found in her system.

My son-in-law thinks we should help pay the medical bills. I have sent several hundred dollars, but he is asking for more.

Bethany is an only child, and they allow her free reign of the house. I have other grandchildren who are even younger, and none of them would dream of touching something that wasn't theirs.

Are we obligated to help with more of her medical expenses? I don't think so because we have already helped, and I don't think it's our job to teach our grandchild boundaries. -- Ohio grandma

DEAR OHIO GRANDMA: Obviously, closing the guest room door was not enough to deter your granddaughter. In hindsight, you now know that you should keep anything you don't want her to get into locked in your suitcase. But you and your husband are not mind readers.

If this wasn't a wake-up call to your daughter and son-in-law that it was time to teach their child the meaning of "No!" and "Don't touch!" then I don't know what it will take to prevent another "oops!" As to your shelling out more money than you already have for Bethany's medical bills, I think you have given enough, and you should not be blamed for what happened.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend told me several months ago that she needed to make new friends. When I gave her a surprised look, her response was, "No, you took that the wrong way." I left it at that.

She recently mentioned that she was going to invite several of our neighbors over for cocktails and a light dinner, but she did not invite me. The evening of the event, while her guests were still there, she phoned me. She said they were finished with dinner and asked if I wanted to walk over and get some leftovers. I politely declined, saying I wasn't dressed.

Your thoughts? -- No takeout for me

DEAR NO TAKEOUT: I think what the woman did was insensitive, and that it's time you, too, started making some new friends.

Dear Abby, written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © 2014 UNIVERSAL UCLICK.

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