Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Son’s long hair brings out worst in mom’s abusive clan

 

Dear Abby: I have a 10-year-old son. “Zack’s” a great kid, creative, funny and athletic. He has decided to grow his hair long. My husband and I figure it’s not illegal or immoral, so why fight it?

My family does not share our opinion. My mom and sister are cruel in their opposition to Zack growing his hair. They tell him he looks like a girl and call him names. There have been bribes, bullying and instances of utter insanity on their part, trying to make him cut it.

My sister’s son has been physically and verbally cruel to Zack, and she thinks it’s funny. She’s repeating a pattern from when we were children of being the “toughest” – if you can’t handle the abuse, you’re a “baby.”

I need to know how to stand up to these family members for my son. It’s a struggle for me to speak to them face-to-face, and they have called me a coward for sending email messages. My mother lives alone and sometimes has suicidal thoughts. Zack is stressed because he loves his grandma, but can’t deal with her harassment. Can you help?

Guilt-Ridden and Stressed in Ontario, Canada

Somehow, for your son’s sake, you must find the courage to tell your mother and your sister to their faces that if they don’t knock it off immediately, they’ll be seeing a lot less of you and Zack.

Because Zack is athletic, enroll him in self-defense classes and make sure he knows he does not have to tolerate physical abuse from anyone and that includes his cousin.

As to “Grandma,” your son’s emotional health must take precedence over hers. I seriously doubt she’ll kill herself if she doesn’t have your son to make miserable, so don’t feel guilty about it.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
The work 'IMAG_NE' by Australian artist Emma Anna, coming to Boca Raton this fall, on display in Sydney, Australia in 2008.

    Florida notes

    It’s the season to see Key Deer

    Dear to the hearts of many are the miniature deer that exist only in the Florida Keys. Fully grown, these Key Deer stand only two to three feet high, but resemble their bigger siblings in every respect: Stags grow a full set of antlers, does charm with their limpid eyes.

  • Dear Abby

    Dear Abby: Obsession over six-pack abs puts swimmer in unsafe water

    Dear Abby: I’m a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking like a movie star might finally get me noticed and make me feel good about myself.

  • chew on this

    Chew on This: Spices make food flavorful, and more healthy

    Science has once again validated observation and common sense. This time it is herbs and spices going through scientific review.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category