DEAR HARRIETTE: My neighborhood is very friendly. We greet one another when outside, help out one another when cleaning the streets (sweeping leaves, shoveling snow, etc.) and are very cordial.
However, there is one family who isn't as kind and friendly. The overall view of that particular family is one of pure disdain. When they come outside, they do not greet anyone. In fact, one of the residents there cursed out an elderly woman on the block!
In preparation for the hurricane, everyone did their part the night before to clear the streets of tree leaves and debris, except them. That family lives closest to the storm drain at their end of the block. If they didn't clean their area, there was a great chance that the leaves in their area would clog the drain and cause flooding on the block.
How do you deal with neighbors who are blatantly inconsiderate and rude? -- Fed Up, Brooklyn, N.Y.
DEAR FED UP: Now that the hurricane has passed, I pray that you and your neighbors were able to work with this family to clear the drains. Without question, in an emergency, even if your neighbors have bad manners, your community needs to come together to insist that safety precautions be followed.
When you approach a contentious neighbor as a united front while remaining friendly, you stand a better chance of being heard and heeded. In cases of life or death, you may need to engage local authorities to support you in getting contrary neighbors to make wise decisions.
Beyond that, you can continue to reach out to these neighbors, letting them know that you want them to be part of the community and doing your best to win them over with your welcoming nature.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter comes home every day telling me that a child in her class picks her nose daily, eats her dried snot and never washes her hands when she goes to the bathroom. This same child apparently also touches the other children, as children do, and my daughter is grossed out by it. These girls are 10 years old, which I think is old enough to know better. I go to the classroom, so I see that the teacher has signs up to reinforce hand washing and overall cleanliness. My guess is that the teacher hasn't noticed this unsanitary behavior. Should I tell her? -- Mindful Mom, Detroit
DEAR MINDFUL MOM: Definitely speak to the teacher in private and express your daughter's observations and concerns. If it is true that this girl is not practicing good hygiene, the teacher can notice her behavior and help correct her.
Be sure to tell your daughter not to obsess about this girl. Your daughter should continue to do her best not to touch her and wash her own hands frequently.