Life Advice



Ask Amy: Adults want to gently nudge niece into the world

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I took in a niece of ours who had been living with other family members after having some mental health problems and leaving college.

Life with her parents is, in my opinion, the cause of much of her mental health problems.

In short, she can't go home.

However, my spouse and I are looking forward to an empty nest (our youngest is in his senior year at out-of-state university), and we need to find the best way to gently nudge her out into the great big world on her own.

She has a job but has not done much to continue with her college education. We discussed it initially and she took two classes, but hasn't taken any others.

She was able to make enough money to buy her own car because we aren't asking for rent, so she could take herself anywhere.


I think it would be better if she lived somewhere closer to home so she could visit if she wants.

Right now, she is 2,500 miles from home, and I can tell she misses her mother and her siblings, who are still there.

Tough love will not be good for this young lady since she is not healthy enough mentally to be given ultimatums or deadlines.

We talk about it often and can't come up with a plan on our own. We’d appreciate your recommendations.


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