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  • Writer's pictureTrish

Kicked Out in Indiana

Hey Trish!

Every year my family gets together for a 4th of July party at my sister’s house. We all know the drill to stay outside unless you have to use the restroom. This year my 6 year old went into her house to use the restroom and then opened her fridge to get a boxed juice. On the way out my sister scolded him and took the boxed juice away. She said he should have better manners than that. My son said he was sorry and then ran away to cry because he was embarrassed. Meanwhile, her own children are running in and out grabbing juice boxes as they go. I agree that he should have asked, but I think the degree to which she scolded him was a bit much. He was just doing what his cousins were doing and thought the rules were the same for him. My mom said that we all know how my sister doesn’t like anyone using her food or being in her house and that I should just explain this to my son. I think that maybe family, especially children, should not feel so anxious about going to their aunt’s house and my sister should be more accommodating. What do you think?


Keep Out in Indiana

Dear Kicked Out!

I can imagine how your son was intimidated. Most children do not expect to be yelled at by a loved one over a juice box. I could also see why he thought it was OK to grab a drink out of a fridge since his cousins were doing the same. My advice to you is to not confuse your son with her detailed rules. I would simply buy your sons favorite juice boxes and bring a cooler. If the cousins want some of these, model to them how your family shares. Explain to your son that these drinks are free to take at any time and that his aunt prefers that only her family is allowed to open the fridge. When your son gets older you can go deeper in the conversation, but the most important thing here is to make him feel comfortable even if your sister does not. Hopefully your sister sees the sharing behavior you are displaying. If she doesn’t, you can choose to have or not have a conversation with her about this matter.

Take the higher road and don’t forget a juice box along the way!


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