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Jeanne Phillips

Young cyberbullying victim admits to cutting herself

DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter “Ruby” has been cyberbullied. I suspect a friend of hers who is her on-again, off-again friend. When the girl is “off,” she is cruel, but Ruby is very attached to her.
Ruby has told her dad and me she’s so depressed and has such low self-esteem from it and that she has started cutting herself. (I think she has just started because she has no marks I could find). Her father is not very concerned, but I am. What’s the next step for me in doing something about this before it has escalated to a level beyond my help?

DEAR GRANDMA: Continue to affirm your granddaughter, but for now her online presence and social media should be eliminated. Consider putting Ruby into activities that will expose her to different people. A self-defense course might build her confidence and self-esteem, as well as give her the opportunity to make new friends.
However, if she remains depressed to the point of self-injury, your granddaughter may need professional counseling to help her overcome it.

DEAR ABBY: I am 32, married, with two young sons. Since starting my own family, I have grown closer with my mom as a source of support and guidance. The problem is, my dad seems to be jealous of the relationship I have with her — probably because I was a daddy’s girl growing up.
Mom and I were planning a girls’ trip together, just the two of us, and Dad said my mom couldn’t go because he was feeling left out. This was after he invited himself along on another attempt at a girls’ trip.
How can I have a close relationship with my mom without hurting my dad? Should I confront him?

DEAR FORMER DADDY’S GIRL: No, your mother should confront him. That you need bonding time with your mother is not a rejection of your father. That you were “Daddy’s girl” implies that he was the favored parent for decades. He doesn’t own you — or her.
Women need each other, and what your mother has to offer you at this stage of your life is important. I hope the two of you won’t allow your father’s insecurity and apparently controlling nature to interfere.

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