Dear Savvy Auntie,

My brother and sister-in-law have been married 23 years and have given me five incredible nieces and nephews. I learned today that my brother had an affair with a neighbor. They told the three oldest kids (16, 14, and 13) because they didn't want them to find out from someone else in the neighborhood. My brother and sister-in-law are trying to work through it and stay together. The kids know that, too. The oldest is struggling. How can I help her (them) through this? I want to respect their "space" but I want them to talk to me about their concerns and fears. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Anonymous,

I have only one suggestion...ask your brother and sister-in –law! The situation is a delicate one and your input should be completely in line with the professional advice they are receiving and with how they are handling it with their children.

That being said, a special outing with the oldest one, or with each one, and your continued presence in their lives sends them the message that you are a constant and caring member of the family.

Be somewhat comforted with the knowledge that children have an amazing capacity to accept and integrate adult issues. This is partly because their lives are quite consuming apart from the family at their ages.

Best of Luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


Content Rating