DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My grandson was diagnosed as nearsighted last school year, right when he turned eight. Since then, he has lost two pairs of glasses, and now his mother and father refuse to replace them again until the beginning of the school year, even though they have excellent vision coverage, which allows for up to six complete replacements, with only a small copayment. They believe they are teaching him a lesson in responsibility, but I believe they are being cruel.
This child loves sports, and now is limited in what he can do to play them. Because he is nearsighted, he has started spending more time playing video games on his tablet and less time playing outdoors with his friends.
I have offered to give his father and mother whatever the replacement copayment is, but they are holding firm in their belief that he needs to be taught a lesson.
Doesn’t this seem like an unusually cruel lesson for a little boy? I have told them so, but they say it is their job to raise their son, not mine. --- A CRUEL WAY TO LEARN
DEAR A CRUEL WAY TO LEARN: This sounds more like a case of abuse than a reasonable lesson in responsibility. Withholding such a basic necessity is a cruel and dangerous act. If your grandson can’t see to play outdoor sports properly, can he see well enough to be safe in general?
Not only is this a harsh punishment for something kids are famous for doing, but in an age where parents are generally trying to get their kids off their electronic devices and more into the real world around them, this child’s parents are pushing their son in the other direction.
I believe you are right to let your grandson’s parents know how you feel, and I would certainly be on the lookout for his welfare in general if this is a fair sample of their parenting practices.