I need advice on how to approach my 8 year old son to discuss things that I'm just not comfortable with. He's well aware of stranger danger, but this is different. Here's the deal...
My husband's brother (I'll call him Joe) is 30 years old and lives with their mother. He is reclusive. He stays in his bedroom and plays violent (and other strange) video games all night long, while drinking vodka. He has poor hygeine habits. He lies to his mom about trying to find a job. He does go out to seedy bars sometimes and leaves with other men. We live in a small town, and Joe does do some landscaping work for my brother's company, one day per week, (to support his smoking and vodka habits). I hear many stories about him that make me worried to have my son around him. Sometimes my son spends the night with my husband's mother (where Joe now lives). I do not ever want to hear my son come home and tell me that he was in Uncle Joe's room for anything. I do not ever want to hear my son tell me that he was alone with Uncle Joe at all.
I am a no-nonsense, straight to the point, kind of person. I want to just flat out tell him that he's not allowed in Uncle Joe's room or to be alone with him anywhere. But then I would have to tell him why...
The advice I need is how to do this without freaking my son out about his uncle, and without alienating my husband or his family.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
does your husband know how you feel about Joe? It would be easier if he felt the same way. but honestly, even if he didn't, if you're that worried he should respect your feelings and get on board with the not-letting-your-son-be-alone-with-Joe thing.
you certainly have every reason to feel this way- and, as a parent, it's your job to protect your child from people like this. he may wind up in a bad situation.
....if you tell your son he can't go in Joe's room, or be alone with him, and he asks why, tell him you're simply not comfortable with it( at least thats what I would do), and you have your reasons. but say that it has nothing to do with him loving his uncle.
I did tell my husband that I thought about telling our son not to go in Uncle Joe's room, and he became angry with me. He said not to put our son in a bubble. However, in my husband's defense, he is not aware of a lot of the things I hear about his brother. Generally, I keep the things I hear to myself since, no one likes to hear strange stories about their family members.
I was using the video games, during the discussion with my husband, as the reason for having our son stay out of the uncle's bedroom. And though the video games are reason enough, it goes way beyond that. I feel that if there were a list of 10 things to look for in a child molester, Uncle Joe would have about 8 of them checked off. That's where I am, and my husband has no idea. I can't tell my husband that I fear his brother may molest our son, but at the same time, I have to make sure it doesn't happen.
Uncle Joe may never try anything, but when I hear stories about him sitting up all night drinking vodka, watching pornographic movies, playing violent and sexual video games, leaving bars with random men, while bragging to others about being bi-sexual and I couple this information with what I witness on my own...his lies about looking for work, his complacency with leading a dependent lifestyle and his reclusiveness, it definitely makes me uncomfortable for my son to be around him alone. It's not just one simple thing about Uncle Joe...it's the whole package that worries me and I have to be careful about what I say to my husband about it.
Thanks for your reply.
Hard one, can you talk to your mother-in-law? She may not be in as much denial as you think. I don't really have any other advice, just wish you the best.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!