My daughter has a friend we all like very much. They’ve been friends for years, and we parents know each other through the girls’ school. We’re not friends, but friendly.
Recently, my daughter came home shaken. She told me that she overheard the father yelling at the mother and calling her obscenities. He knew the girls were home because they had been in the kitchen getting a snack while he was there.
The girls left the room, the mom came home and the yelling ensued. My daughter’s friend started to cry so they ran up to her room and shut the door. As soon as it was quiet, and her friend said she was OK, my daughter left.
Now she’s afraid – for the mom and her friend – and never wants to go there again. How do I help my daughter and her friend? How do I handle this?
My knee-jerk reaction is to call the mom, ask her if everything is OK and tell her what your daughter overheard. But I’m that way inclined.
If you don’t want to go that route, then have your daughter’s friend over more often, and give it some time before you let your daughter go there.
Depending on your relationship with the girl, talk to her if she’s comfortable discussing the situation. But don’t press her for information.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding a column she thought I wrote about toddlers and hugging:
“My niece has a wonderful solution for toddlers who don’t want hugs. A ‘sandwich hug.’ She opens her arms to her daughter and says ‘how about a sandwich hug?’ The little one always happily says yes and runs into her Mum’s arms. Mum then picks her up and the other adult hugs the Mum with the toddler in between.
“Everyone is happy, and toddler loves it.”
Lisi – This got me thinking about hugs and relationships, so I did some research. Of course, hugging your children is an extremely important way to convey love, safety and security for infants and toddlers. Continuing hugging throughout childhood helps children become happier, more secure people.
But what about in adult-to-adult relationships? According to Kelly Holmes, an author and certified parent educator, hugs increase oxytocin, which is a hormone that triggers feelings of love and protection, promotes bonding and smooths the path for feelings of trust. Oxytocin is also helpful in reducing stress and promotes a feeling of relaxation. When oxytocin is increased in the body, the result is a release of serotonin known as the ‘happy hormone.’
And there you have it – hugging it out can make everything better because we inherently feel better when we hug. So, make it your mission to hug your partner and your children as often as you can.
FEEDBACK Regarding the person complaining about restaurant service (Nov. 12):
Reader No. 1 – “Regarding the readers problem with the lack of servers providing sugars and sweeteners without having to ask for it. Restaurants must provide these items in wrapped envelopes. The problem is that the diner will most likely empty a container and take it all home with them. I know someone who boasts that he has never purchased a package of sweetener. He just takes his supply from restaurants. Restaurants are running on very thin profit margins these days. Please let your complainer know.”
Lisi – It is difficult to make a profit in the restaurant business right now, that’s for certain. And your sweetener stealer is unfair to the restaurants he frequents. But I believe the writer was just citing one example of where he felt he could help out.
Reader No. 2 – “Before making any comments, educate yourself on the background and reasoning. There may just be something you haven’t thought of.
“For example, at a restaurant I’ll notice that instead of just bringing sugar and sweetener with the hot coffee and tea, the server waits until the patrons request it. I wonder why the server doesn’t just bring it?”
“Why bring if no one uses? What the writer is suggesting could be actually resulting in more work for the staff.
“I have worked with people like this letter writer. There is a very fine line between criticism and harassment, especially if someone is having a bad day or mental health issues are involved.
“How do I know when to speak?”
“Simple answer is, when someone asks.”
Reader No. 3 – “I drink my coffee black. I would appreciate being asked if I want cream and sugar before cluttering up the table. Your “life consultant” needs to realize that there are other points of view.”