Dear Abby: Parents need a reminder that their words matter – Detroit News

Dear Abby
| Jean Phillips

Dear Abby: While shopping at the mall, I’ve seen too many stressed parents ignore or yell at their kids. Certainly not helpful. It’s not how I was raised or how I raised mine. Years ago, I saw a poem in your column that addressed the ramifications of bad parenting versus good parenting. From what I’ve been seeing, you should print it again. Many parents who should read it won’t see it, but it might help those who do. Your message is very important. Thanks.

Too: Dating creates tension between longtime friends

— Janet F. in Minnesota

Dear Janet: I know the poem you refer to and agree that it sends an important message for parents. It’s one of many insightful poems and essays included in my “Keepers” booklet, which was compiled because many readers requested reprints of their favorites. Continue reading:


If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight back

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate

If a child lives with justice, he learns justice

If a child lives in safety, he learns to have faith

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

This is just one of the poems, essays and letters that appear in the Keepers booklet. Some are witty, some philosophical.

Topics include children, animals, aging, parenting, death and forgiveness. It can be ordered by sending your name and address plus a check or money order (US funds) for $8 to Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

Packed with real nuggets of wisdom, it’s a quick, easy read and an inexpensive gift for newlyweds, pet lovers, new parents, or anyone recovering from illness because it covers such a wide range of topics.

Dear Abby: I have been dating outside of my marriage. My husband doesn’t know. It’s nothing serious – just dinner, drinks and dancing. All the men have been single. I would never date a married man. They have all respected my boundaries. I don’t want to be unfaithful to my husband; I’m just having a little fun. Do you think a little kiss good night would be nice, to show my appreciation?

— A little naughty in New Mexico

Dear Slightly Naughty: No, I don’t. A goodnight kiss wouldn’t be more appropriate than going on a date in secret. A better solution would be for you to teach your husband to dance.

Contact Dear Abby at

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as citation, syndication, criticism, commenting, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by the copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational, or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.
-This article has no negative impact on the original works (It would actually be positive for them).
-This article is also for teaching and inspirational purposes.
– It is not transformative in nature
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