The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 24, 2014

Why would someone insult a 3-year-old?

DEAR ANNIE: I am the thrilled stepgrandmother of a wonderful grandson, age 3. I’ve had the privilege of taking care of him twice a week since he was born.

I decided to post his pictures on Facebook because his extended family lives all over the country and appreciates the updates on his outings and activities. I also enjoy having a computerized photo book not only for myself, but to share with my housebound mother.

The problem is, one family member seems to post only negative remarks about him. Her comments have included criticisms of his baby blanket, his potty training and the length of his hair. She never compliments the boy or makes any positive comments at all.

Today, she annoyed me so much that I deleted her comments from my page. I know that was petty and probably rude. Is there any kind of etiquette regarding Facebook posts? What about polite responses to unsolicited negative opinions about one’s grandson? — Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: We have to wonder what would prompt anyone to make disparaging remarks about a 3-year-old on Facebook. (The most obvious reason is jealousy.) You can “reassign” this relative so that she no longer sees posted pictures of your grandson unless you specifically include her. You also can block her comments. Both solutions are acceptable. However, if you wish to address this with her, please do so with a personal phone call, asking whether there is a problem that can be fixed. It is the shared, public aspect of what should be a personal dispute that makes it especially rude.

DEAR ANNIE: You’ve printed letters about parents who are estranged from their children and have responded that neither side should let slights fester until it’s too late.

So tell me, Annie, what about a child who has been treated poorly for her entire childhood? I’m talking about my daughter. My husband led a secret life of sex and drugs and passed two STDs to me. He neglected his family to the point of emotional abuse. We are now getting a divorce after 33 years.

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