DEAR ABBY: My 10-year-old son has a school friend, "Jeremy," who seems like a sweet, smart kid. I have seen Jeremy's dad interact with him both in and out of school. The man talks down to him and speaks harshly. This sweet boy appears to be verbally beaten down, and it makes my heart ache.
What can I do? I realize I don't know what's going on in their home. There could be other factors causing Jeremy's father to act this way. But every child deserves love and encouragement. Any advice you can give would be appreciated. -- ADVOCATE FOR KINDNESS IN KENTUCKY
DEAR ADVOCATE: Make Jeremy welcome in your home as often as you can, praise him when the opportunity arises and give him a willing ear if he needs to talk. Whatever "factors" are causing his father to treat him this way, they are no excuse for verbal abuse. Your kindness to that boy won't fix his problems at home, but it will be remembered all the days of his life. Your hospitality may be the only exposure Jeremy has to a normal, functional family.