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#461390 - 02/24/14 05:54 PM When is it helping and when is it butting in?
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 394
Loc: Midwest

I had a most uncomfortable situation this weekend. I was out of town for work and before I started my drive home and stopped to see my sister. She is divorced and a mother of three kids all under 10. Unfortunately, she's not a great mom. she falls into the mindset of being overworked, underpaid, extremely busy, and just acts like the world is out to get her. Her ex husband is not a stellar guy, but she picked him knowing his faults. Sometimes she makes it hard to like her.

When I stopped by, her two sons were walking around the house without their shirts on with one of them just walking around in his underwear. I know it's their house, but it just seemed inappropriate. I was very uncomfortable. Her justification is it's her house and they don't like wearing shirts, so she picks her battles. These boys need a male influence to say, "Do it because that's what we do."

the one without pants has his hands down his underwear and he also pulls his underwear up to resemble a thong. He knows he will get a reaction by doing that. I really feel sorry for my niece. She has to be bothered by this, and I think it's wrong to subject her to her brothers running around in their underwear.

I reached a limit and had to leave. I wasn't comfortable. It brought back too many memories. Little kids aren't supposed to be sexualized, but it was just too similar to my abuse. My sister doesn't know about my past.

My question is what's the best thing to do in the future? Where is the line between helping and butting in? I won't be visiting anymore because of this. Does my sister need to know how her kids affect others? What about my niece? At what point do her rights and needs take precedence?

Thanks for any help.


#461396 - 02/24/14 08:13 PM Re: When is it helping and when is it butting in? [Re: DavoSwim]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
It seems unruly, maybe rude and crude, but it did not sound sexualized.

It would not seem wrong to ask how old do they have to before wearing more clothes in front of each other, it may offend her slightly.

But I guess it gets down to people pleasing. Do you mind offending her? Is it that important for her to be happy with you?

I guess I have embraced my not so much people pleasing side. I would just ask her in a laughing way. Like how much pubic hair does a kid need before they have to go around with clothes on, in a snarky way smile

It seems to violate your conscience. That is the big thing.

And if you share your opinion and she ignores it, then what? No evidence of abuse. It is like wearing a bathing suit.

I personally would find it weird and tell the kid to put some damn clothes on. Little heathens.... smile
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#461464 - 02/25/14 03:08 PM Re: When is it helping and when is it butting in? [Re: DavoSwim]
txb Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 410
Sounds like my cousins. They are rarely dressed. They are 12, 9 and 5. Their mother usually tries to get them dressed if they have visitors coming over, but I don't really count as a visitor anymore. It just never bothered me. If it did, well I guess it's their house. They do have a dad. And HE walks around the house in his underwear. Their older sister doesn't seem to be bothered by it at all. I guess it's just what she's used to, so it doesn't seem weird at all.

I'm sorry you were so uncomfortable though. It's hard to know what's the right thing to do. I think saying anything about anyone else's kids is a bad idea. That will just piss them off. And she will think you are questioning her parenting skills and calling her a bad mother. But really it is polite to be fully dressed when you have guests over. Maybe the best thing to do is avoid the situation completely and only meet up with them away from their home?


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