helping children with absent fathers

Q: My seven year old granddaughter has talked to her dad on the phone but has not seen him since she was born. She misses him, cries for him, and feels depressed because of not having him. It breaks my heart this guy will never come from out-of-state to see her -- he does not pay support and does not send gifts. I listen to her and try to encourage her but I don't really know how to handle this or what to suggest to my daughter as to how to handle this. 

A: Thanks for sending in this question.  There are so many parents with children in situations like this.  It is terribly upsetting to see your child suffering and know that you are powerless to effect a change in the circumstances.  

protecting your kids from adult predators

My ex-wife and my kids live next to a boy who is 24 years old and my daughter trusts him more than I like. I have met him and he seems harmless. My daughter is only 12 years old but she wants to do everything with this neighbor boy because he takes her and her sister places and buys them whatever they want. 

My daughter used to be close to me but now she makes excuses to not come to hang out with me. Their mom seems to believe it's no big deal because it relieves her of the responsibility of taking my kids places and buying them stuff. 

How do I get my ex and my daughter to realize this boy might have different intentions in mind than just being a nice guy?

I am so glad to hear that this situation is tripping off some alarms for you. A 24 year old is not a boy ... he's a man. And although he may seem, or even be, harmless, the nature of the relationship he is conducting with your daughters does not feel appropriate to me.