Dear Barb – Think of the Children

Dear Barb:

My sister has two small children, ages five and seven, and I feel she is a neglectful parent. She rarely has regular meals for her children and they often go to school without even having breakfast, although she does make them a sandwich for lunch. When I try to talk to her about this she says there is food in the house, they can make their own breakfast. They are five and seven years old! She is neglectful in other ways too. For example, she often leaves her children home alone while she goes out shopping or running errands. The children’s father is not in the picture and our parents live in another city. I don’t want to worry them, so I have never told them about this. My sister says I am overbearing and that It’s none of my business how she raises her kids. Is there anything I can do to protect my niece and nephew? Melanie

Hi Melanie:

Thanks for writing Melanie; you seem to be a very caring aunt. Not sure where your sister is located, but most provinces have laws regarding the age that children can be left alone and for how long. Without a doubt, it is not at only five or seven years old, more likely twelve and up. I am wondering if your sister has some other issues going on in her life that are contributing to her neglectful behaviour. Children need a healthy breakfast in order to function properly in school, which is why many schools have programs for children who are not provided an adequate breakfast at home. Left to their own resources, I’m sure children this age would not make healthy food choices, but rather choose a few cookies or other sweets. Since your sister seems resistant to your advice, I would suggest you contact the children’s Aid Society in your area. They will have a worker visit your sister and assist her in making better choices for the care of her children. You really have no alternative but to report this situation to the authorities.

Dear Barb:

My wife and I have been married two years. We both work in the financial industry performing similar jobs; however she makes more money than me. I know that shouldn’t be a problem, but it is for me. I have never mentioned this to her, but I do feel that as a man, I should be making more money than her. I love my wife tremendously and I am proud of her accomplishments. Everything I read says that women still make less money than men, but that is not the case with us. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, any advice? Thanks Blake.

Hey Blake:

The fact that your wife makes more money than you should not be an issue and if it is, most likely it is related to your personal perception of the way things should be. Possibly this was the dynamic in your household as you were growing up. Not sure how old you are but women’s roles have evolved in the last twenty or so years. Today’s women are struggling to gain equality in a male dominated world and they are in need of support and acceptance, especially from those closest to them. It’s time to let his archaic thinking go. Thanks for writing Blake.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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