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Should I Mind My Own Business?

My brother is 28 and became widowed just two years ago. He has a daughter that just turned 12 and they live in the duplex right next to me so I could help him out. I can hear that they have been having some screaming fights lately and I know that she has been dressing slutty and having boys over while he is at work. She told me she wasn't going to listen to her dad anymore because he is obviously stupid and did bad things when he was her age so why can't she? I actually witnessed her spitting in his face and calling him a nasty name today all because he said she couldnt go to her friends house. I wanted to kill her! I don't want her to have a bad influence on my kids because they do hang out together and am worried about all the stress this is causing. Should I confront him about this or talk to my neice or just stay out of it? I need to do something!

 
WishyClarkson

Asked by WishyClarkson at 6:01 PM on Jan. 26, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 9 (305 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I agree with the others, it's time for a chat either with one or both and I don't think it's outside "your business" when you obviously can hear and see what's going on and besides it's family. I might even go as far as suggesting counciling, it does seem like there's some unresolved issues from the mother's death. i would hate to hear that she's getting into drugs or the boys just to try to heal her pain. Of course being a teen, she's most likely not going to believe anything you have to say about you know how it is, or that the actions are bad for her or even hear that you care about her. You've got to get that anger, hurt, hopelessness and emptyness resolved first. Usually professionals can help with this, and I would even suggest church, but that's up to your personal/family beliefs, and you don't want to make it seem like a punishment that she has to go to either things.
    kicknscreamn222

    Answer by kicknscreamn222 at 6:44 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • I would imagine if he was widowed, that they are both still dealing with the loss of their wife/mother. I would talk to him privately, tell him the things he's noticed and ask him what, if anything, he would like you to do to help. If he wants your help, I would try to act as a cross between mother/friend to your neice. Definitely don't try to be her mother, but kind of give her motherly advice. I don't know if I'm being clear with my description but I'm not sure how to describe it exactly.
    But I wouldn't get involved if he doesn't want you to. I'm sorry for their loss, their current problems and that you're getting drawn into it. Must suck all the way around.
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:05 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Maybe have a heart to heart with your niece. Try not to be judging. But talk to her and try and get her to see how her behavior is wrong. *shrugs*
    amethystrse

    Answer by amethystrse at 6:05 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • talk to your niece and your brother. teenagers and parents are always going to disagree at some point, and if it's about going out and partying and dressing in a way that gets her attention (even though it's the wrong kind) she's just not going to understand her dad's side. teenagers need someone to talk to that's not a parent. i have a cousin who is incredibley disrespectful to her mother and when we talk i try not to lecture her, but i also don't let her think i am ok with the way she treats her mom. and i try to explain her mom's side of the story, so she knows that she's not being mean just to be mean. (since teens are selfish, you'd be surprised how many of them think it's ALL just about them, not about what could happen to them and consequences and respect etc). all you can do is be there for her and hope that by setting a good example and not enabling her behavior will ensure she grows out of it quickly!!! :)
    juliness

    Answer by juliness at 6:10 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Sounds like maybe she needs a girl to girl talk and since she is your niece and living next door...I'm assuming you are the only Mother figure she has.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:26 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Also, has she been involved with any extra curricular activities? Take up some of that time where her dad is at work, so it's not so easy for her to have boys over. Also, you could suggest that she come over to your house while he's at work, it maybe a little burden to you, but could save her in the long run. Sounds like she needs to know that she's wanted around, loved, excepted, etc. These are things that teens already have trouble with, but b/c of the loss of her mother have probably been amplified.
    kicknscreamn222

    Answer by kicknscreamn222 at 6:45 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • A lot of my suggestions come from personal experience of being a teen and young adult who made a lot of mistakes due to circumstances out of my control through out my childhood and teen years. I never got to really spend time in a helpful environment to get thru those things; I was really on my own to figure it out. I am 25 now, and still struggling with the same things, but i did finally figure out how I did not want to live anymore about two years ago, about the same time I had my DD, which was baby #2 for me. I hope that you as a family can help her figure that out before me and a lot of other "kids" do. I'm going to remember your family in my prayers and if you ever need to talk, don't hesitate to send me a message.
    kicknscreamn222

    Answer by kicknscreamn222 at 6:45 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Talk to your Neice............ And if you EVER whitnessed her treating him that way........ You should get on her Right then........ Embarrass the hell out of her........ It takes a village to raise a child.... you should be helping out for God Sakes......... being right there.......... This man needs help just like anyone of us........... If my daughter talked snotty to me... I always had people to put her in her place.... even a stranger a time or too... when she was little... I mean come on... Help the guy and the girl too she's only 12.........
    Kay300

    Answer by Kay300 at 7:53 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • He is the parent. did he ask for your help? Are you debating butting-in? First and foremost, make a decision to offer to help him or not to help him. Then if you decide not to get involved, then you just forbid yours to get involved with her.
    Second, if you decide you want to get involved. you offer your help to the parent, not through his child.
    Third - remember that she probably put on a show for shock value just to get at you.
    LeftBrainy

    Answer by LeftBrainy at 9:59 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

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