Author Topic: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?  (Read 8738 times)

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MOM21SON

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2012, 08:45:17 PM »
I am a fixer, or want to be.  We took in our nephew, he needed a new start afterall. 

I really had visions of this happy relationship. I was going to fix him!

 It was not to be.  He lied, stole, flopped.  The final straw was stealing a catamaran, yes, he stole a boat.  When the police came, they actually said, "We hope he is okay, we found his clothes, his release papers from the local mental hospital and his BOAT."

Long story, made short.  We put him on a bus, he got kicked off.  I hear he is now in prison.  SIL has not spoken to us in 12 years.

I guess the bright side is that he LIKES being in jail.

Just my experience.

bopper

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2012, 10:40:52 PM »
I think its a lovely idea.  But like others I think the whole "come live with me" part is where things could get tricky.

I think if you do do this you might want to speak with a lawyer or financial adviser and set up a trust or something, sort of like a scholarship, for her schooling.  Set out your perimeters for what you will pay (perhaps she must have an attendance rate of 90% and maintain an above passing average, etc) and set it so that the payments will be made directly to the school, not to your niece.  This is a nice safe guard for you financially, but it also is a clear cut, in writing set of expectations for her.  And while I don't think your idea is creepy, setting it up officially like a scholarship definitely cuts back on any creepiness others might see.

This is what I was going to say. It seems like her parents are supporting and giving her the tough love she needs...how can you support her schooling?  And how can you do it without being taken advantage of.

Sharnita

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2012, 10:42:47 PM »
any health care costs could be devouring her income.

ChiGirl

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2012, 11:17:46 PM »
So I really don't know my niece well, I haven't seen her since she was a wee one herself, but have been following her struggles online. ( she openly shares a lot)  I don't know what it is about her situation exactly that has captured me, but I see myself in her. I could have been her back in the day. I had that kind of misdirected life as a teen and only by sheer luck did I not end up in her exact situation. 

I agree w/other posters that before you offer this woman (it's not clear to me how old she is?) the sort of help you envision, you should actually get to know her.  You're identifying with her based on things she posts online but you don't really "know" her or whether she really is at all similar to you.  I applaud the generous impulse of wanting to give someone the help you wish you had gotten, but you don't know if she's the best "target" for that impulse. 

Also, keep in mind that she doesn't know you either! If some relative I had not seen since I was a child suddenly called up offering a new home for me and my child, I would be surprised, a little uneasy, and not necessarily eager to uproot myself and my child for this unknown situation. 

I'd also point out that if her parents are allowing her and the baby to live with them rent-free, they are helping her quite a substantial amount; rent tends to be the biggest expenditure for a family (at least in the US). 

kareng57

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2012, 11:20:15 PM »
I think its a lovely idea.  But like others I think the whole "come live with me" part is where things could get tricky.

I think if you do do this you might want to speak with a lawyer or financial adviser and set up a trust or something, sort of like a scholarship, for her schooling.  Set out your perimeters for what you will pay (perhaps she must have an attendance rate of 90% and maintain an above passing average, etc) and set it so that the payments will be made directly to the school, not to your niece.  This is a nice safe guard for you financially, but it also is a clear cut, in writing set of expectations for her.  And while I don't think your idea is creepy, setting it up officially like a scholarship definitely cuts back on any creepiness others might see.

This is what I was going to say. It seems like her parents are supporting and giving her the tough love she needs...how can you support her schooling?  And how can you do it without being taken advantage of.


I agree that the OP has very good intentions, and doesn't seem to be wanting to undermine the young mom's parents.  But it seems that they're already helping her out a lot, even if it's not necessarily physical  $$$.

I too think that a good talk with her parents is necessarily before offering assistance.  Offering babysitting during school or working hours is fine. But I don't think that anyone wants to find out that he/she has been offering free babysitting in order to allow the young mom to attend nightclubs.

kudeebee

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2012, 01:03:55 AM »
Honestly, I think you need to slow down and take a few steps back.  You don't know the girl, you have had no contact with her--or from the sounds of it, her parents--in years (15? 20?).  All you know is what you have heard through the family grapevine and her posts on facebook.

I would take the facebook posts with a grain of salt.  It is a good place for her to vent to her friends and garner some sympathy.  It could very well be that it is not nearly as bad as she is making it out to be.  Her parents could be making her take responsibility for HER baby instead of stepping in and doing everything for her so she can continue the lifestyle of a teenager/young adult with no responsibilities.  When she became pregnant and had/kept the baby, her life did change dramatically.  She is no longer a carefree young woman, she has a child and responsibilities.  She is living at home and I would assume eating there.  Yes she has to work two jobs to pay for her other bills.  That is tough, but won't kill her.  If the father of the baby is not paying support, hopefully she is looking into getting that taken care of.

Before you step in with "solutions", you should take the time to reacquaint yourself with the girl and her parents.  Find out what the real story is, not just the facebook version.  Find out what type of person she is, what her dreams really are.  Find out what her parents are doing to help her, what other assistance is available.

Once you have remade contact and become a part of their lives for awhile--at least 6 months, if not a year--you will have a better idea of what, if anything, you can do to help.

Do not do anything in haste that you could end up regretting.  It is great that you want to help, but you could be seen as a busybody if you swoop in from the "outside" and try to "fix" the situation when you don't know what is going on.  To be helpful, again, get to know them  and let them get to know you.

blarg314

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2012, 01:58:00 AM »

It's a generous impulse, but I think you need to think it over more.

It sounds like you'd be basically offering the girl the same thing her parents are, but in a different location - free room and board, and some babysitting. So aside from a better choice of schools, there would be no big difference in her ability to attend a trade school compared with where she is now. She'd still have the problem of going to trade school while working part time at multiple jobs, and paying for full time daycare (I'm assuming you're not offering to babysit 10 or more hours a day, which is what she'll need with job and school). Plus, she'd be living away from her family and existing support structure.

She might be a good kid who made a bad decision, and will work really hard given an opportunity. Or, she might take advantage and go out partying all night while failing her classes and leaving you with the kid. The problem is you don't know, because the only thing you know about her is her Facebook page.

I'd suggest contacting her on Facebook to offer *moral* support at first.  Chat with her, get to know her, hear more about what her life is like.   Then you can meet her in person, and see the reality of her life - is she hard working, or just hard complaining?  Does she give up easily?  Does she have a realistic view of just how much work going to school, working, and looking after a baby really is. How much are her parents actually doing to help - it may be more than you realize.

Once you get to know her, and her situation, in reality rather than just Facebook, you'll have a much better idea of the kind of help she really needs, and how it fits into her life.

TootsNYC

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2012, 04:28:51 PM »
I think your heart is in the right place, but, I think you would be wise to get to know her a bit first. You're about to offer someone with known issues to live in your place and use you as unpaid babysitting. How will you feel if she uses that babysitting to go out drinking? How will you feel if she doesn't pass her courses? How will you handle the increase in bills? What if you don't end up getting along? You're getting a roommate, and that's not a minor amount of stress added to your life.

I'd start with emailing her and showing support. Get to know her. Find out what she'd like to do, and if her expectations are realistic. I might even ask her to come up with a plan and "sell" it to you. She wants to go to school, so she should pitch that to you as a potential investor.

I agree with this!

Especially the Facebook sharing. It just makes me think of my niece, who slid from "responsible" into "user" without even realizing it was happening.

Absolutely think of yourself as a potential investor.

And also think about other ways to support her that are more appropriate to your actual relationship with her. Because offering to let her live with you *IS* out of balance with your existing relationship.


blarg314

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2012, 09:10:25 PM »
Because offering to let her live with you *IS* out of balance with your existing relationship.

This!

I think this summarizes why the offer would seem rather odd - it's not that it's a creepy thing to do, it's that it's a very personal thing to offer, and would seem strange or pushy from someone you know only faintly, and haven't met since you were an infant.

Shoo

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2012, 11:17:05 PM »
I can't figure out what your relationship is to the girl's parents, or how old the girl is.  I do think that following through with this plan would be a sure fire way to make enemies of the girl's parents.  They may very well see your offer as criticism of the way they have chose to handle their daughter and her situation.  Because really, who knows their daughter better than them?  You barely know her, how could you possibly know what's good for her, what she needs, what she wants, etc.  That's the kind of thinking that's likely to occur.

I wouldn't touch this situation with a 10 foot pole.

Roe

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2012, 08:45:04 AM »
OP, I think eHellions have given you some good things to think about before you move forward. 

However, this is your life, your decision and once you think this through and if you decide to go forward, don't let anyone stop you from doing what you feel is right. 

Yes, there's room for much to go wrong but there's also room for much to go right.  It really depends on what you both want to gain from the relationship.  I also helped out my nephews and unfortunately, that situation didn't work out for the best.  The thing that kept my nephews from moving forward is their own mother so I should've known that was a no-win situation from the beginning.  However, everyone is different.  Every situation is different.  Only you can decide how much effort and money you want to put forth. 

And for the record, your offer is not rude nor creepy.  Good luck with whatever you decide to do! 

LadyR

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2012, 12:41:59 AM »
OP didn't say she was going to pay niece's tuition, but that she could use her government grant to do so and that there were more schools (and perhaps better grants) in OP's town. What she is offering is free rent and free baby-sitting. She says the girl works two jobs, partially for daycare costs (which are insane) and that the parents only provide her a place to live. Speaking as a student, if I had to pay daycare costs to go to school, I couldn't do it (my mom watches my son for a minimal fee).

OP I think it sounds like a very kind, generous offer. I think you'd have to hammer out details and get it in writing, but its not creepy at all.


strawbabies

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2012, 03:31:38 PM »
OP, I know you are well intentioned.  But I can see this totally blowing up in your face.

All you're seeing is the girl's side of things.  For all you know, her parents are trying the tough love strategy because she's troubled.  She may be a rude, disrespectful nightmare to live with, and lucky her parents haven't thrown her out completely.  The person she presents to everyone online may not be the same one she is at home. 

Before you offer to do anything, I suggest you get back in touch with the parents and get to know them really well.  Talk to everyone and really learn what all is going on. 

Aquamarine

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2012, 06:49:26 PM »
OP, I know you are well intentioned.  But I can see this totally blowing up in your face.

All you're seeing is the girl's side of things.  For all you know, her parents are trying the tough love strategy because she's troubled.  She may be a rude, disrespectful nightmare to live with, and lucky her parents haven't thrown her out completely.  The person she presents to everyone online may not be the same one she is at home. 

Before you offer to do anything, I suggest you get back in touch with the parents and get to know them really well.  Talk to everyone and really learn what all is going on.

POD.  Regardless of how well intention and kind your thoughts are this has the potential to blow up in your face and make your life a nightmare.  The niece is responsible for her decisions and her parents are helping her, I would leave it at that unless you are willing to spend a lot of time getting to closely know the people involved and exactly what the situation is.  It sounds to me like between her parents and welfare your niece is already getting quite a bit of help from others.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

cheyne

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Re: Being helpful or being a rude busybody?
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2012, 08:43:36 PM »
If I were niece's mother, I would be angry if a distant relative came swooping in offering my daughter a "better life".  I think this would be beyond rude.  Why is it that you have no rel@tionship with the parents?  Could you open the door to a rel@tionship with the entire family and not just niece?

If she can stay free with you and use her state funds for daycare to go to school, why can't she do the same with her parents?  It sounds like they are providing her living expenses.

There are literally tons of grants and programs for single parents to go back to school.  Maybe Niece needs to check those out and change her life herself instead of posting about it on Facebook. 

Remember you are only getting one side of a story that I am sure has multiple sides.