Dear Savvy Auntie,

I could use some advice. My sister left my 11 year-old-niece home by herself while the rest of the family traveled 2.5 hours away for the day. I'm worried that that wasn't safe for my niece and my sister typically responds very defensively. I don't live in their town or I would have gone over. How would you handle this?

Niece Left Alone

Niece Left Alone

Dear Niece Left Alone,

The obvious answer is to have a conversation with your sister, starting with uncharged questions about her beliefs in what is safe. And then, offer to speak with your niece about what she would do if there was an emergency, treading softly so as not to frighten her. If all goes well, you could offer to make and post community services with telephone numbers. Include your niece in this project.

I sympathize with your concern and suggest you contact their local police station and request any written material to look at. If you still are concerned you could request that the police swing by their house every hour or so to just check that everything is all right.

I hope this eases your concerns.

Good luck,

Natalie Robinson Garfield

Homepage image: marilynv
Published: September 14, 2016

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