DEAR ABBY: I'm about to get custody of my daughter after four years, so I'm a little out of the parenting etiquette loop. A friend of mine has a daughter, "Autumn," who is an absolute terror and a bully. The girl has been rude to my daughter during the times she has visited.
I know I won't be able to avoid social functions because Autumn's family is always invited to a mutual friend's events. My daughter wants nothing to do with her, and I don't know how to easily avoid play dates. Please advise. -- PERPLEXED IN THE WEST
DEAR PERPLEXED: Talk to Autumn's parents about her behavior, so it can be corrected. If you are worried about your daughter having to interact with the girl, suggest that she socialize with the other children at the event and stay out of Autumn's way. If the girl acts out against your daughter, tell your child she is welcome to come and spend some time with you. While you can't completely insulate her from unpleasant peers, this may lessen the pain.