Life Advice



Aunt wants to ex-out her nephew

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a teenage nephew who has always acted out; I believe it's because he lives with his father (my brother), who makes dating and partying a priority over being a parent.

My nephew's mother lives out of state. He rarely sees her.

When I try to buy my nephew clothing or other items that his father won't get for him, he insults me and says horrible things. I've tried to intervene through school and other avenues, but they tell me I can't do anything, because I'm not his parent or guardian.

He has been expelled from school for drugs; he is in serious trouble with the law for guns, drugs, and fighting.

Because he is a juvenile, he keeps getting put into diversion programs and is therefore able to live at home. He has also stolen money from several families. His Dad does nothing to discipline him.

I do not feel safe having him at family gatherings; and especially around my young children.


I feel a bit guilty cutting a child out of my life. I have some family members who are a little scared of him, but still see him at holidays.

I have offered to host holidays, etc., but have made it known to family members that he is not to come. Is it OK for me to cut him out of my life?

-- An Ex-Aunt

Dear Ex-Aunt: You are NOT an "Ex-Aunt." You may choose not to invite your nephew into your home, but this does not negate your relationship to him. It sounds as if this young man never had a chance. Both of his parents have abandoned him.


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