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Son in Law’s Odd Behavior with Grand Daughter

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I have witnessed my son in law stick his finger up my granddaughter’s nose several times. First time, she was on my lap (age 3) she had her finger in nose, I gently moved her hand away, saying no fingers in your nose, he then reached over and stuck his finger up her nose. He has done this several more times near me, latest time was this weekend (age 4). Last night we were face-timing and she was happy telling me about her day, He reached over and pinched / squeezed her thigh. She jumped and looked at him with a look like why did you just hurt me. She did say ouch daddy that hurts and he did it again, then laughed and said I am a crab. It actually left a mark on her leg. My daughter and son in law are divorcing and I am worried about my granddaughter. I know he loves her but this behavior seems very strange and not sure if I should be worried. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

Son in Law’s Odd Behavior with Grand Daughter

Answered by on -


I can understand why you would be concerned. These are intrusive and abusive behaviors that strike me as indications of (at the very least) very poor parental judgment. As your daughter is in the middle of a divorce I’d recommend she tell her lawyer about this. It is possible that the lawyer may be able to request a psychological evaluation be ordered for dad. Naturally I can’t give legal advice, but I would at least let the lawyer know this has been an ongoing problem. Hopefully, this can allow a psychologist to get involved.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. DanProof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Son in Law’s Odd Behavior with Grand Daughter

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Son in Law’s Odd Behavior with Grand Daughter. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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