View Full Version : Can I get your opinion Please?
04-15-2010, 05:59 PM
First let me begin by letting you know my situation. I am 43 year old father of 2, daughter/son (9 and 13) and live with my wife in our two family home. My sister lives in our finished basement with her 13 year old son. My 24 year old nephew has been coming over every weekend for the past 8 or 9 months now, and all 3 of the children look up to him as as a role model. I personally think he is an ok person, i mean, he does'nt drink, or curse, or smoke, he is not into the whole wearing the "earings" on the ear..or tatoos. He enjoys coming over and spending time with the kids..last weekend he and the three boys went to go ride bikes, my nephew used a 21 speed mountain bike while my son used his 7 speed kids bike. I allowed my son to leave without his helmet. A little while later, I learn that my son was racing bikes on a dead-end street with my 24 year old nephew. My son told my nephew that he wanted to race with him, my nephew agreed and all 3 of them raced down the dead-end street. Of course, my nephew won the race. My son then, asked my nephew if he could switch bikes, and my nephew would use his 7 speek bike. My nephew agreed and they raced once again. This time, however, as my son approaced the finish line and began to apply his breaks he applied the front brakes only and fliped over and landed on his face on the concrete, my nephew had already reached the finish line. My son had scratches on his arm and side of his face, but the main injury was to his chin. We took him to the hospital and they concluded that he had lost a little piece of his chin from the fall. Other than that, my son is doing good and is healing. However, I got upset with my nephew for racing with my son and I now feel that my nephew is a bad influence for my son, and I feel like telling him that I don't want him spending anymore time with my kids. Was this just an accident? or does my 24 year old nephew carry the blame? Am I opening my son's opportunities to get "real" bad influence from another person outside of the family? My nephew has taught them many good things, both to my daughter and my son. He has done much good in their lives, he has taken them to all kinds of places, they have gone skiing together, we have gone swimming together, amusement parks, he has tought them many things about the Bible, he has helped them with homework and projects and through all of this the kids have developed a strong relationship with my nephew, but am I overreacting? Should I tell my nephew that he should remove himself from their lives based on this one incident? I mean I should have made sure that my son wore his helmet before going out, but I do not think that they should have been racing, and my nephew shouldn't have allowed my son to use the 21 speed mountain bike--even though my son has used that bike before and is fairly familiar with it. (apparently not the breaks though). The breaks between the two bikes, I noticed were on the opposite side of each other, the front breaks on my son's bike are on the right-side, while the front breaks for the mountain bike are on the left, so this greatly contributed to my son's injuries. Is it normal for a 24 year old to be spending so much time with 9 and 13 year olds?..I mean he is a college student, he was in the military for 4 years, and he has all this life experience, but will I do more harm than good by taking him out of their lives?
04-16-2010, 01:00 PM
It was an accident. Your son had prior experience on the bike, has probably raced with his friends before, and you probably would have enjoyed their stories of the race if the accident hadn't happened.
The most you need to do is gently remind your nephew that 9 and 13 year olds do not have the best physical coordination and do not have the judgment to know when they are in over their heads. When your nephew is out alone with the boys, he needs to be the responsible adult to help keep everyone safe. But he can still be goofy and one of the boys at the same time.
I think it is wonderful that he wants to hang out with his cousins. When it comes to being with family, age shouldn't matter. It sounds like he is a good role model and a positive influence in the children's lives.
And one more thing to remember, think back to the times you accidentally let your child get hurt due to your own moment of poor judgment- you didn't stop being his dad thinking you were bad influence, did you?
04-16-2010, 05:29 PM
thank you very much for taking the time to read my long explanation! I welcome and appreciate very much your opinion.
04-21-2010, 10:42 PM
148 people have seen my situation..only one reply..does that mean that you all agree?..Does anyone have a different opinion?..I would love to hear from you!
04-22-2010, 06:09 AM
So your kid had an accident.
It happens all the time. We've ALL had accidents as kids growing up.
And citing all the positive things that your nephew has done for the kids in the time that he's known them, why on EARTH would you want him to suddenly disappear now over this?!
Look, I understand that you want to take care of your children and want nothing but the best. That's awesome. And you know what they're doing. Another awesome point.
But really....how many other Positive Male Role Models ARE there out in the world? He hit a snag. Pull him aside, talk with him about it and voice your concern about the racing if that's the issue. Either he respects your wishes as the father and changes the behavior, or he doesn't.
After all, it's just one of those things that happened. Just like (and I'm not placing blame here, just sayin'...) the fact ya let your boy go out without a helmet. That doesn't make you a bad guy. So your kid getting banged up doesn't make your nephew a bad guy. It was just something that happened.
Maybe it's just because ya see your kid healing from this, and maybe it's because it was so soon (I dunno how long after this event you've posted), but I think maybe you've been caught up in the emotions of protecting your kid and that aspect of it that it's hard to pull back and see 'the big picture'
that's my two cents anyway :D
04-22-2010, 02:16 PM
I know EXACTLY how you're feeling. Any time my two-year-old son gets hurt at daycare or at his grandparent's house, I end up thinking, "How could this happen? Weren't they watching him?!" We can take precautions to keep our kids from getting hurt, but the fact is, we can't shield them entirely from pain. Accidents happen, and I know that it can be especially difficult when the accident happens when we're not there.
As parents, we take on the role of protector for our children. When something happens when we're around, we can swoop them up and comfort them, take charge of the situation, get them the help they need. We can be useful. But when something happens to them when we're NOT around, we feel helpless for not being there to protect them. That kind of helplessness can be crippling. We reach out for something, ANYTHING, that we can do so that we feel useful again. "He should have been wearing his helmet. He shouldn't have been racing. My nephew should have known better!" You place the blame on your nephew because you don't know what else to do. You feel like it's the only thing that you CAN do. That's all perfectly normal. Dads tend to be "fixers" and removing the nephew from the situation seems like a logical fix.
But then what happens when your son hurts himself when your nephew isn't around? Do you take away his bike? Keep him from ever leaving the house again unless you're with him? Of course not. The solution, as I see it, is to use this as a learning experience. Instead of reprimanding your nephew for not being responsible, talk to your son about what happened and why it resulted in him getting hurt. "Sometimes adults can do things that kids can't do" or "Going fast is fun but if you do it right, then you can have fun and stay safe at the same time." Maybe tell him a story about when you were a kid and something like this happened to you. Taking risks is healthy and good for him, but he needs to do it responsibly. Should your nephew have known better? Maybe, maybe not. A talk with him couldn't hurt either, as long as it doesn't sound condescending. However, from your description, this one incident shouldn't overshadow all the positive influence that he apparently has in your son's life.
04-27-2010, 08:46 PM
Hey guys thank a lot for your insights! Really appreciate very much your views!
05-11-2010, 12:18 AM
dude, i fell so many times off a bike I can't count them. I never wore a helmet growing up. They didn't have real "bike helmets" back then anyway... just plastic lids that made me look like dork.
It sounds to me like a helmet wouldn't have helped anyway. The problem was that he was on an unfamiliar piece of equipment. Just teach the kiddo and the cousin that anytime you are trying out something knew, learn all you can about it first... like how to correctly stop.
It was an accident. I still have several scars!
05-11-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm going to try and be nice about this because I have a huge problem with overbearing parenting. OK, deep breath......in.....out.....
Kids make bad choices and get hurt sometimes. I'm talking about your 13 year old son making a bad choice. Thirteen is old enough to make a choice about bike racing and helmets. I'm assuming your nephew is childfree at 24 yrs old. He's not a parent and he's 24! He was having fun with his little cousin. Relax!
You say that 99.9% of what your nephew has shown and taught your kids is possitive and you're considering taking that away because your kid chose to race and flipped over his handle bars? Really?
What the heck are people raising these days? A bunch of kids who are afraid to have fun because they may get hurt? That's no way to live! Yes, he should have had a helmet on. But, he didn't and he saw a chance to have some fun and it went bad. So What? He's still alive and probably a little tougher too.
I can't tell you how many times I fell off my bike and scraped myself up. One time my brother was riding me on the front of the banana seat of his bike and when he turned off the driveway we crashed. My foot weaved through his spokes, broke one off and it ended up impaling my ankle. I love that scar to this day! He was NOT allowed to have me on his bike. I talked him into it. Looking back even now, the thrill of the whole forbidden situation is still one of my favorite childhood memories. I was 5 and my brother was 8. I am now 42 and my brother is 45.
Don't take away fun stuff or a fun person from your kids because of one incident that will be a cool memory for your kid for the rest of his life. You'll ruin the memory and the chances of your nephew sharing more possitive things with your kids.
05-14-2010, 05:12 PM
I am assuming that this is still a worry of yours so I am going to give my opinion. I am 22 years old so I am still a little bit of a kid. I have a 14 year old brother. If my brother had wanted to ride my bike I would have said sure and nothing more really. My brother has broken his arm, his leg, almost every finger and toe, and has scars up one side and down the other. My mom just takes him to the hospital or puts a bandage on him and then lectures him about not getting hurt anymore. He doesn't listen and I then have to spend a day listening to my mother rant about how he gets himself into these things. All I can say is "Kids get hurt!" its like a motto in my family. My older brother flip a dresser on me, broke my nose, and convinced me to go down a hill on my mountain bike with out telling me which one was the brake. I flipped and slammed into a tree with my head. I broke the tree in half and bent my bar handles. I was completely fine. So just breathe and calm down. If he doesn't come home with a concussion or doesn't come home and you get a phone call then everything is alright.
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