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How long would you go in not suggesting something to a parent about their child?

My brother recently got a divorce after 12 yrs of marriage. He has 50% custody of their 3 yo son so that his ex wife can travel for her job. He lives relatively close to his ex wife but here is my concern. Since he's been single, I come visit often to make sure he is emotionally ok. For the past 4 mo's I've noticed a few things about his parenting style that I wish to speak up about but am not sure if I should. When he was together with his ex wife, he did things similar to her, and now he seems to be terribly falling down on the job. Do I keep my mouth shut? Some of the things are: he feeds his son cereal and donuts almost every night he's there. He has no teeth brushing routine at all. He goes without proper clothing for weather if it is raining- no jacket, etc.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:46 PM on Feb. 21, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • I'd say something to him, my brother and I are very close and I always tell him my opinions. What he does with it is up to him, but maybe he needs someone to give him advice.

    Answer by momov4kids at 9:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • I would tell him but under the guise of worry. Tell him you are concerned for the baby but also for him.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 9:53 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • op here, I am just concerned because several people in my circle of friends have told me to mind my own business and let him parent with his own style, especially since he is no longer having to do it the way his ex wife does it. I also feel that if I share my opinion, it will cause a rift in our relationship, so I'm not sure if I should speak up on behalf of my nephew.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:53 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • Men seem to be clueless as to parenting and kids needs. I'd talk to him and remind him about stuff like this, seeing as how he probably doesn't think about it, or care, or is just a typical male and is clueless. Speak up. On some things I would say stay out, but these are things that could lead to other problems if they continue and need to be addressed by someone. Say something like, "I'm concerned about nephew's health. He needs to be getting the right foods, and I worry about his teeth and health because you don't brush his teeth or make sure he's dressed warm enough." If you say it this way, it will sound less like an attack I think.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:58 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • For my brother, I'd definitely say something.

    Answer by Pnukey at 11:12 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • If he is your brother, I would speak up immediately in a nice way. Tell him you are always there for him if he is not sure about any of the parenting skills, what he should do but let him know the importance of the child eating properly while he is growing, that is the most important time for proper nutrition.

    Answer by Yo-Super-Momma at 11:55 PM on Feb. 21, 2010

  • It's your brother! Of course you should say something, honestly he's probably at a total loss and he's emotional because of his divorce and he could probably use a little help from you. If you two have a good relationship I can't imagine you trying to help him out would hurt his feelings at all.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:01 AM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • op here, Yeah, he's my brother, but, we did not grow up together. He is my half brother and lived with his mom most of his growing up years.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • I would ask him how things are going and see if he would like a little help. Some men are so clueless when it comes to taking care of kids. Some men can barely take care of things for themselves, lol.

    Answer by etsmom at 1:31 AM on Feb. 22, 2010

  • My brother was not very good about parenting, EX; he felt babies only need a diaper in the morning and one at night.
    I always spoke up to him about what is right and what is wrong. He would get annoyed with me at first but then come around and change his ways, he had more respect for me because I was willing to speak up and help him out.
    The best way to go about giving advice is, how you give the advice. Maybe even show him how to parent in a way that he doesn't really know your teaching him...Tell him you would like to come over and cook up some new recipes together. Do an art project with his son by making a chart that shows him when he has to brush his teeth. Do things creative, it will all work out.

    Answer by cookmom69 at 1:39 AM on Feb. 22, 2010

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