Concerned about grandchild’s health
Dear Annie: My 32-year-old daughter is not watching my 10-year-old grandson’s diet and is allowing him to become overweight. When I brought it up, she replied in a very defensive manner that she does not want him to be self-conscious or concerned about how he looks. I was taken aback by this comment and her tone, and I walked away from the conversation because I could tell I had hit a nerve.
She also allows unlimited screen time and video games. This is another subject of great concern to me, but she doesn’t think anything of it.
I worry about my grandson’s classmates calling him hurtful names. And I worry about his overall health.
I feel helpless, and my heart breaks for him.
All I can do now is pray and, during the infrequent visits, do the best I can to provide him healthy food and daily exercise.
I gather some of the weight gain is due to emotional eating. He has told me that my daughter puts a lot of responsibility on him as the oldest of four. He is responsible while she and her husband rest in their room. She is the sole provider. Her husband, my grandson’s stepdad, has been unemployed going on one year. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve things? — Frustrated Grandmother
Dear Frustrated Grandmother: Your daughter has quite a lot going on. Four children and an unemployed husband is no easy feat. I’m not sure why she and her husband rest in their room, but you might want to see if depression is at play. What your daughter needs is help, not criticism. You are correct that if your grandson were to weigh less, you could probably save him from some hurtful name-calling. And your daughter is right to keep the focus off your grandson’s looks. But the focus should be put on his health, ad lasting weight changes come from the inside out.
Your grandson and your daughter need love and support. Once you show that you are on their side, not sitting in the judge’s chair, you can really help. Grandparents can have a very positive influence on their grandchild. It sounds like your grandson feels a special bond with you, and you can cultivate that if you try and visit more frequently.
Unlimited screen time has been known to contribute to weight gain, whereas things like team sports are a great way to make friends, get off the screen and improve health. Ask your daughter whether she would like help signing your grandson up for sports leagues or taking him to these activities.
Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 40 years and married for 30 of them. I recently found out he has a son two months younger than our son. He says he didn’t know about the child until months after the child was adopted and claims he really didn’t believe the woman was pregnant.
I am devastated and unsure of how I should move forward. I feel our entire life was a lie.
He says he is sorry and wants to work past this. It turns out that he was cheating on me with this woman for at least four years. He said it was only sex and nothing more.
We were young when we started dating — I was 18, and he was 19. I know this happened 30 years ago, but I just found out. What do you suggest we do to get past this? — Devastated in PA
Dear Devastated in PA: Wow, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. The news is certainly traumatic. Your husband’s apology and desire to stay together is a good starting point for moving forward, but you will need time and support for this wound to heal. I recommend seeing a licensed marriage counselor together.
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