Dear Savvy Auntie,

I'm very close to my niece and nephew! It was always my sister, her kids and I together for the longest time. We did all kinds of fun things together through the years. She was the one who always had me with them.

Now, years later, I feel like my sister doesn't accept the closeness I share with her kids. She is always blurting out this same phrase: "Go get your own kids." It absolutely kills me. I'm 37 my husband and I have chosen to not have children. My niece and nephew are 25 and 20 now. What should I say to her when she says this?


Dear Anonymous,

How sad! It sounds like your sister is jealous and somewhat insecure about her relationship to her children. I suggest you try to build her ego by reducing your references to your relationship to the kids and increasing the references to the importance of her connection to them. Since your niece and nephew are a reflection of her parenting, you can compliment them and praise her. In other words, maximize her and minimize yourself. This should build her ego and lower her insecurities and competitive feelings.

Ignore her mean spirited comments about "your own children" and try to not be critical in any way about her parenting. Instead, take every opportunity to support and praise her.

By the way, have you talked meaningfully about your decision not to have children? This would at least lessen her angry comments.

Best of luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

Homepage Photo: GeorgeRudy
Published: December 28, 2016

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