DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, a couple built a home on the lot next to ours. From the time they moved in, we have been concerned about their 11-year-old son's anti-social behavior. It began with him trying to coax our dog into his yard when we were trying to call her in. Then he started coming into our yard, playing roughly with our three small children and using vulgar language around our 8-year-old daughter.
He is no longer allowed in our yard and has been kicked out of three other homes in the neighborhood. The most recent incident occurred a few days ago, when he yelled a profanity at our daughter. I called his mother, and she told me her son would "never behave that way"!
Abby, this boy is creepy. I don't trust him. He stands in his yard staring at us whenever we are outside. I'm worried his behavior will get worse. Other neighbors have seen him abuse his dog and other animals. His parents never watch him. What do we do? I'm worried about my children's safety. -- AFRAID IN WISCONSIN
DEAR AFRAID: You have described a child who is emotionally disturbed and parents who are in denial. Because the neighbors have seen him abuse animals, a report should be made to the police and the department of animal welfare in your community. This boy has no empathy for others and needs professional help. Until he gets it, you are wise to be concerned about your children. Keep a watchful eye.