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 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?
- Concerned Grandma in Alaska
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.
Dad's jealous of daughter-mom bond
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?
- Former Daddy's Girl in Georgia
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 one another, 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.
Eye exams can help catch trouble early
DEAR READERS: Medical eye exams can catch early signs of disease before vision is lost. In addition, many diseases - from high blood pressure and diabetes to some cancers - can be diagnosed early through a medical eye exam.
For seniors who haven't had an exam in three or more years, the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeCare America program may be able to help. Since 1985, EyeCare America has helped almost 2 million people. More than 90 percent of the eye care provided by nearly 6,000 volunteer ophthalmologists is at no out-of-pocket cost to patients.
This service is offered year-round. To find out if you or your loved ones qualify for this program, visit eyecareamerica.org.