Help a Mother Out

In this week’s Help a Mother Out, a Baristaville mom has a family problem. In this feature, we ask you, our readers and other moms and dads, to help out with your best advice in comments:

Dear Barista Kids,

I have appreciated the feedback your readers have given other parents and I’m hoping they can provide some suggestions for me. I am the parent of 3 young children, ages 2 to 7. I also have a sister and a 10 year old nephew whom I love dearly but have real concerns over my nephew’s influence on my children. If he weren’t my nephew, my children would not be allowed to spend time with him at all. I don’t expect kids to be perfect (God knows mine aren’t), but certain things I don’t tolerate-lying or disrespectful behavior toward adults, teasing or bullying. I’ve witnessed all of the above with him. I’ve attempted to address with my sister and have been met with hostility.  There are no consequences and no supervision by her at family gatherings. I’ve spoken with him and handed out consequences when in my home but this has only added to the tension. My fear is the introduction of curse words today, pot smoking tomorrow.

So the deal is, I have a big family, lots of family obligations and two very aging parents who are aware of the problem but long for tranquility in their twilight years. Oh yeah, and my kids love him. How do I find a way to keep peace in the family and also stay true to myself and what I believe is best for my children?



It’s Complicated in South Orange

Post your advice to It’s Complicated in South Orange in comments.

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  1. It seem that to keep peace in the family and do what is best for your children, you should certainly maintain strong family ties. This is a valuable opportunity to teach a number of valuable lessons to your children.
    1. Importance of family: As your children get older, you want them to understand how important family is – the way you treat your family will reflect on how they eventually treat you. There is no better lesson than family is family despite their flaws.
    2. Looking out for others: You mention bullying and teasing which to me seem more serious issues. Is your nephew bullying and teasing your children? In this case, encourage them to stand up for one another – it is 3 against 1. To be safe, also provide closer supervision at family affairs. Yes, ideally your sister would do this, but the world is seldom ideal.
    3. Different people have different values. In terms of cursing, don’t worry about it. Cursing will not lead to pot smoking, and children probably hear way more than you think. Children are also very smart at understanding that different parents have different rules. Explain to them your rules and why you think they make sense. And explain that other people have different rules.

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