Should my little son call out his bullying grandpa?

Dear Amy: Recently my children and I were with my in-laws (their grandparents) at a crowded event where I relied on my father in-law to supervise my son (age 4) while I was with my toddler daughter.

Amy Dickinson
Amy Dickinson 

My father in-law tries to connect with my son by “being silly,” which for him means nose pinching, tickling, tug-of-war while holding hands, and general rough-housing and clownish behavior.

Occasionally my son laughs with him, but more often I can tell by his body language that he feels assaulted by all the unwanted touching.

At one point he fell down and was sobbing because his grandpa essentially pushed him down via tug of war.

As we said goodbye and grandpa tried to jostle him into a hug (while saying “you don’t have to hug me if you don’t want to”), my son refused to say goodbye at all. I said our goodbyes and it began to dawn on me how much rough-housing had been happening, so I asked my son if grandpa “nudges” him too much.

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