Dear Savvy Auntie,

I can really use advice on how to handle "opinion giving."

I recently gave an opinion to my sister-in-law, offering advice to her, thinking my real talk would cause my niece less tears and stress. I noticed my opinion was not wanted and was deemed a "b*tch" by my brother when I tried to apologize.

How can I make them understand they are going to get my opinion, that I am not just the hired help, standing on the sidelines. How are we going to make our relationships work if I can never give an opinion? Is there a line, or are we never to step in with decision making?

Unfortunately, I think I know if I want to see the children I'm going to have to bite my tongue, in fear my "opinions" often lead to child withholding. Yep, cue my teardrops now. Any advice would be appreciated.

Opinion Auntie

Dear Opinion Auntie,

I am sure your opinions would be beneficial. However, if your priority is an ongoing, positive relationship... keep them to yourself!

I know this is difficult! It is the sad frustration of so many aunts (and grandmothers.) It is the relationship you have with your niece that will be a positive influence on her. As she gets older, she will probably see the situation clearly and thank you.

Good luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

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