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Old 06-27-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
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Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

My 19 yr. old nephew and his 18 yr. old girlfriend are expecting a baby. As his uncle, I've gone from total shock to being disappointed and upset with the situation and him. I realize that I have no control over what happened but it's difficult to accept the outcome right now since he's a part of our family.

My nephew is the oldest of my sister's 6 children. In a nutshell, he has always been spoiled, lacked responsibility, and never had any rules to live by. He barely graduated HS a few yrs. ago, then dropped out of Jr. College after only a few months. He worked for his Dad and didn't really like it, so he went away this past Fall to try a Jr. college away from home. Again, he didn't apply himself at all in school and basically just lived away at his parent's expense without purpose or direction. Now, he's going to be a Dad at 19.

To me his parents are treating the whole situation with a "no big deal, accidents happen attitude". They have rented my nephew and his pregnant girlfriend an apartment near where my sister's family live, bought furniture and supplies for them, and even put the girlfriend on their own health insurance policy! She comes from a broken home, never had a father in her life, and a mother who is on her 5th marriage. So, my sister and her husband have basically "adopted" her as their own. Now my nephew will be working full-time for his Dad's company again starting this summer with no intention's of ever going back to school.

I have so much I'd like to say to my sister about all of this, yet I know it will get me nowhere so I just keep it inside. I'm just terribly disappointed, yet she's completeley ignorant and tries to justify the whole situation. She even had the nerve to say her youngest son is looking forward to being an Uncle (he's 10 yrs. old). Basically, the baby will be my sister's "7th child" and my nephew is darn lucky his parent's are well to do and can support the unfortunate situation. To look at him, he acts like he has no cares in the world. He's a kid having a kid but because he's always been & continues to be supported financially by this parents I don't think he sees what happened as any type of burden or how it's put an end to his childhood before he's grown up himself. It's just sad to me and a terrible example for my other neices & nephews.

If he were my son, I'd be handling this entirely differently and I would've layed down the rules and expected results long before he got himself into this mess.

In my family there's an unspoken pecking order: higher education (college or a trade), relationship, engagement, marriage, children. We're not all perfect by any means, but we all learned what was expected of us and were given the means to excel and we respected that. My sister was no exception to the rule so I'm baffled as to why she has blinders on when it comes to raising her own kids. I just hope she gets on the right path before it's too late. Her second oldest son is headed for trouble too. He just went to court for a DUI at 18 yrs. of age. Of course, she defends him!

 
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

In my experience, mothers are often more tolerant of their sons' misbehaviour than their daughters'.

My friend, I am afraid there is nothing you can do about the present situation, unless someone in your nephew's family had asked your advice or intervention or unless maybe you were a grandparent.

As an uncle, you'd have the right to speak out against your nephew to his mother (your sister) and maybe even to him, but this is more like venting than anything else: you can't force your values and your point-of-view nor can you have expectations that things will change after you speak.

I am wondering how the situation is affecting your relationship with these people. Are you avoiding them? Are they avoiding you? Perhaps you don't even need to speak out. Your avoidance of them is already a sign that you don't approve of what both parties are doing. That's about all you can do.

Last edited by pendulum; 06-28-2009 at 12:29 PM.

 
Old 06-28-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

Unfortunately babies having babies has become chic these days, even magazines feature teen single moms on the cover in their high school cap and gown with their new baby in their arms. Unfortunately a lot of people feel the way your sister does, that it's no big deal. I thikn some people even consider it a good thing.

The boy is your sister's kid, and therefor her reponsibility. it's not really up to you to stick your nose in her business, as she must bring up her children as she sees fit. How would you like her telling you how to raise your kids?

I think you can express to her perhaps, "what would mom and dad have done to us if one of us had done this?" kind of thing, making it clear that you love her so much and you love all your nieces and nephews and are only concerned and trying to help, but beyond that, it's really not your place. It's her kid, to raise her way, and she will have to live with the consequences. If she wants to enable her son and raise him to have no sense of responsibility and not never learn how to take care of himself or be a man, as sad as it is for her son, it's her business. Griping to her about it over and over will only alienate you from her and her whole family, then you won't be able to be of any use at all to any of them.

 
Old 06-28-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

I certainly appreciate the feedback. I know it is not my place to bring it up to my sister, her family, or my nephew & his girlfriend, so I won't bring it up to any of them. I, along with my parents were only told about the pregancy last weekend so it's all new and will just take time to accept it. Life goes on. Not much I, or anyone else for that matter can do at this point and I don't feel that making an issue of it and possibly alienating myself will do anybody a bit of good. It's just a feeling of overall sadness & disappointment in my nephew because he is so young and immature.

My Mom (soon to be great-grandmother) is having a difficult time accepting it and my Dad doesn't talk about it (he holds his feelings in). My brother and his wife are upset with the whole situation. They all live in the same town and my brother's kids are much younger and think you have to be married before you can have a child, etc... so my brother is feeling upset and unsure about how to explain this to their children.

It affects me because I will soon be a great-uncle and it affects the whole entire family unit (immediate & extended) because this child will be related to us regardless and will naturally be made a part of the family. Most definitely unexpected, but family nonetheless so we will embrace the child and keep our fingers crossed that perhaps there is a larger lesson to be learned here. I sure hope so.

Thanks for the responses.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 04:01 AM   #5
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

I think maybe you should start explaining the rest of the kids that you don't necessarily have to be married to have children but that it's just better to be LOL. I'm sorry if this is harsh, but life is what it is and you can't shield anyone from it. Not all people fit well into traditional forms of living. Not all people share the same values. And sometimes life gets in the way of the "proper order of things".

I sincerely hope your nephew and his girfriend are going to get their act together and start living a responsible life. Who knows, maybe fatherhood will change him for the better in the end? He might yet go to college and actually finish it this time, because he'll know why he's doing it (not because that's the way things are done, but because that way he can take better care of his family).

I'm also so happy for the young couple that your sister and her husband have been so accomodating and helping. It's so great to know you have a place to live when you're expecting a baby and someone to turn to for help and support. I just hope they find a way to return this love and care and that they don't abuse it.

I think it's great how your sister is handling the whole matter. She is obviously the type of preson that tries to make the best out of every situation and that makes life so much easier and happier. I'm really hopeful for them that everything will turn out well. If they have enough money that they can afford to do this, by all means I think it's great. You can't take money away with you once you die and money has never made anyone happy by itself. Again, if they are not going to feel any loss, I think it's a wonderful thing. And if your nephew is going to start working for real this time, great.

Also, not everyone is meant to go to college. Many people go to college and can't find jobs. College alone doesn't make you happy. Family makes you happy and being content with your life makes you happy. Doing a good job at your work, whatever you do, and being able to provide for yourself and your family makes you happy.

Just because your nephew didn't finish college doesn't mean all the other children in the family will follow his example. Also, I'm very happy that the young couple has even decided to stay together. It would have been so easy for your nephew to back out of this and just pay alimony. but he took it like a man and has the guts to accept his responsibility. I really think you should try to focus on the good things in this and help your parent do the same. It really makes life easier and you will be happier for it.

 
Old 06-29-2009, 06:43 AM   #6
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

Jana has expressed much of what I would say. Your sister is to be admired to get on with it and accept the situation. It will be her first grandchild and that is a wonderful thing for her, regardless of the less than perfect circumstances of its birth. It is easy to feel the way you do, but there are far worse things in life than a little baby coming into the family. Babies are precious in any family and should never feel that they are a disaster. My husband and I started our family in just this way and his mother, like your sister, welcomed me and our daughter into the family with open arms and love. We grew up quickly and our baby is now 40 and we are still together. Sera.

 
Old 07-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Any Helpful Ideas On How To Deal With This?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
Jana has expressed much of what I would say. Your sister is to be admired to get on with it and accept the situation. It will be her first grandchild and that is a wonderful thing for her, regardless of the less than perfect circumstances of its birth. It is easy to feel the way you do, but there are far worse things in life than a little baby coming into the family. Babies are precious in any family and should never feel that they are a disaster. My husband and I started our family in just this way and his mother, like your sister, welcomed me and our daughter into the family with open arms and love. We grew up quickly and our baby is now 40 and we are still together. Sera.
Thanks again for posting your thoughts. I really liked the insight you expressed in your post. I'm also happy to know that you faced similar circumstances and things worked in you favor. After the initial shock of learning that my nephew is going to be a father at such a young age, I had to put my own previous "hopes & dreams'' I wished for him aside and focus on new hopes and dreams of a different sort for him. I realize that he's lucky to have such a wonderful family and parents who support him. I'm hoping this new found responsibility will make him grow as a person and that it's a positive experience for him and the rest of the family. I also hope that he and his girlfriend go on to marry and have a happy and fulfilling life together. Most of all, I'm glad that my nephew didn't abandon the situation, yet rather decided to make a life together with his girlfriend and be there as he should under the circumstances. In the end, if it doesn't work out and they're no longer together then at least they gave it their best shot. I think the lesson I'm learning from this myself is that maybe he's not so irresponsible afterall? Sure, the pregnancy was a mistake but him sticking in there and wanting to make it work, at his young age, is no mistake at all. In fact, it shows responsibility beyond his 19 yrs. From my new perspective, I admire that!

 
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