DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a registered day care business, and every day I hear her screaming at young children and infants. They are all 4-year-olds and younger. We live in a rural area outside a small town. She uses profanity and says mean things to them. It makes me want to cry when I think of how scared those kids must be.
Who do I contact with this information? I could record her with my phone if evidence was needed to shut down her business. This woman has a really bad anger management problem. She also knows I can hear her because we have spoken about how our voices travel.
I don't think she is being physically abusive, but her words must be damaging to those kids. Please help me find someone to tell. I'm afraid the local police won't be able to do anything. I can't even take my own child in our backyard because she swears so much. -- DAY CARE DRAMA IN INDIANA
DEAR D.C.D.: Ideally, you should try to tell the parents what you have been hearing because they should be aware that their trusted caregiver loses control of her emotions and takes out her frustrations on their children. If the situation is as ugly as you describe, those kids must be terrified of her.
If that's not possible, Child Protective Services should be notified because the environment is not emotionally healthy for little children.
P.S. By the age of 4, children usually have started to repeat the language they hear around them. I'm surprised these parents haven't noticed the change in their vocabulary and questioned their little ones about where they heard those "bad words." Nonetheless, on the chance that the parents are clueless, what you have observed should be reported.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend, a contractor working for the U.S. government, who thinks he's in love with a Ukrainian girl. The pay is really good. He recently came back from a visit to see this "girlfriend."
He has been sending this girl almost all his money for the last nine months. He was never alone with her, and she showed no emotional or physical attraction to him. In fact, a male friend of hers asked him for $800 to give as a bribe so he wouldn't be drafted into the Ukrainian military. We believe this male friend is, in fact, the girl's real boyfriend.
My friend paid $300 to send flowers to her for their nine-month anniversary, for which she expressed no thanks or appreciation. What advice can you provide us here? -- FRIEND IN AFGHANISTAN
DEAR FRIEND: Your friend's "romance" seems suspicious to me, too. That he is giving all his money to someone who appears to be so emotionally distant is worrisome. I also have to doubt that $800 would keep an able-bodied man from being drafted into the Ukrainian military since the country is now involved in military conflict. It appears your friend is being treated more like an ATM than a suitor, but he may have to arrive at that realization on his own.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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