DEAR AMY: My 13-year-old daughter recently got her first cell phone. She plays softball in a recreational league, and her coach is a married man in his early 40s, with a daughter on the team.
While he is a nice guy, I have an issue that the other parents don't seem too concerned about. He constantly sends the girls text messages. There are days when my daughter receives up to 10 texts from him.
He texts about school, about other kids on the team and about "how they are feeling."
Should I confront him and ask him to stop texting my daughter? I don't want to risk alienating her from her team. She thinks I am overreacting, but I don't think it is normal or healthy for a 40-something man to be constantly texting with young teenage girls.
What do you think?
— Confused in South Park
DEAR CONFUSED: Let me put it this way: If my 13-year-old's coach did this, I'd be all over it (regardless of the coach's gender or marital status), and I would not be LOL.
The only reason for a coach to contact team members outside of practice is to notify them of a change to that day's schedule.
Tell him to stop. If he wants to know how your daughter is, he can ask her at practice or on game day. Otherwise, if he has any off-the-field questions that need to be directed to her having to do with the team, school or "how she's feeling," he can give you a call, and you'll pass the message along.
I can't believe the other parents don't have a problem with this. And it shouldn't matter whether your daughter sees this as an overreaction — you are the grown-up; you are her mother — you get to decide.
DEAR AMY: My parents help my husband and me by picking up our two children from school each day and taking them back to their home for a few hours. We were trying to avoid a costly day care center and thought the best people to help watch our children were people who love them.
This has been the arrangement for several years, but over the last couple of years my mother has become increasingly harsh with my 6-year old-daughter. My young son has actually tried to defend his sister, but my mom told him to "butt out."
My mother speaks negatively to and about my daughter.
I have tried talking with my mom, and I make sure to praise my daughter in front of my mom in the hope that my mom would see that this little girl really is wonderful and has a lot to offer.
This hasn't worked.
This is especially hard for me to watch because this is the same thing that went on when I was a child with my brother and me.
I have rearranged my work schedule to limit the amount of time they spend at their grandparents' house.
I have seen some positive changes in my daughter, and I'm contemplating making arrangements so they spend little or no time there after school. Do you think this is a good idea — and do you have any suggestions?
— Worried Mom
DEAR WORRIED: Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Your mother treated you badly, and now she is treating your daughter badly. Some abusive parents single out one child on which to pour their frustration and anger. The thought that your son is trying to come to his sister's defense and is also being degraded should tell you that this situation is out of control.
Children who witness abuse or mistreatment are also affected by it.
Your mother is toxic. Both children should be in your care after school. Make the transition smoothly and without drama.
Your daughter would also benefit from joining a group like Brownies. She deserves a chance to shine in an environment where she'll get a lot of encouragement.
DEAR AMY: I'm wondering how many copies of your letter from "Ever Hopeful" (who would love diamond earrings for Christmas) will be posted on bathroom mirrors this holiday season!
— Looking for Tape
DEAR LOOKING: Pass that tape to me when you're done.