Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Neighbor Won’t Stop Giving Kids Candy

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a neighbor who likes to bring candy to my children. He doesn’t have his own kids, so I know he is doing this to connect with children he loves. And my kids do love him. But I don’t give them candy. I told him that the first time he gave it to them, but he hasn’t gotten the message. He has even dropped off packages of candy for them at my door during stay-at-home orders. He’s not creepy or anything, just lonely. How can I get him to change what he gives them without hurting his feelings? -- Candy Man

DEAR CANDY MAN: Wait until the quarantine is over and you feel safe to talk to him face-to-face, if possible. Thank him for being attentive to your children and reset your boundaries. Remind him that you do not allow your children to eat candy, which means they can never enjoy the gifts he brings because you don’t give it to them. Suggest that he come up with another gift or forego giving them anything. You might explain why you don’t give your children sweets so that he is clear about your wishes and your reasons to back them up.

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