General Etiquette > Family and Children

Being helpful or being a rude busybody?

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Texas Mom:
Your intent is to be helpful.

I would not offer any assistance at this time - wait at least 6 months.

I assume you have family in the area where she lives.  Go for a visit, make contact with her and spend time getting to know her as a young adult.  After you get to know her, you will know if this situation is something in which you wish to involve yourself.

If there are no major red flags (other than the fact that she's young) and your gut/heart agree that this is the right thing to do, extend the offer.

I don't see anything rude about it! I think it's extremely kind and generous.

I will say this though. Don't offer it unless you are really really 100% sure you want to do this all the way. It's a situation of letting someone you don't know well come live in your house for an extended period of time, and with a baby. What happens if you don't get along? If she invites friends over that you don't like? If she doesn't pull her weight in household chores? If she stains your carpet? Etc. The baby aspect makes this exponentially more fraught with potential for conflict.

If you're serious about this, I'd at least try to get to know her first, to get a feel for what kind of person she is and how well the two of you mesh before making this kind of offer.

OK, I'm not a fast enough typer and am repeating what's been said but there it is.

I don't think your wanting to help your niece is weird or creepy.

Perhaps you can spend some time with your niece to get to know her, see her outlook on life, see how she views assistance (you don't want to be in a situation where you kindness is taken for weakness).  Then, if you feel comfortable, talk with her parents and see their take on it.  You know your family dynamic better than we, so I say go with your gut.

If it turns out you don't want her living with you, but still want to help her, offer the babysitting.

Sometimes the younger generation does need a "hand up" to get themselves on track.  If your niece is taking two positive steps toward a better future for her and her child, I see nothing wrong with taking an extra step to help her.

I wish her all the best.

I think the fact that you want to help her is wonderful, extremely caring, and unselfish.  I would caution that the "rules" of this arrangement are carefully discussed and agreed on.

Again, mostly I think it's wonderful of you.  Helping her to attain a better life for her and her child cannot be a bad thing, in my opinion.

it's not rude and it's not creepy.

this isn't some little girl that you randomly picked out off the internet. this is a relative of yours, someone you know, and you would like to reach out to her. I think that is wonderful.

Having said all that - you need to tread carefully. while it very well may be that her parents are not giving her the support and guidance they need, it may be that they are and she is not following rules etc. you don't really know.

Why don't you reach out to her - ask her if she would like to come to you for a weekend, and see how things go?


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