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How do you confront a young extended family member going down a slippery slope?
You know, its funny because I'm in a very similar situation. One of my younger sister is seventeen and pregnant. She dropped out of high school and is headed nowhere fast. Noone in the family knows what to say to her because they think she wont even listen. She doesnt have a good relationship w/ her mother and I think that's part of the reason for rebellion. I 've tried to talk to her and be real and give her a real life perspetive on life and being a young mother. I had my son when I was 20 but i did finish high school. I was working and had my place. I try to let her know that things arent always as good as they look and that life is not something u can rewind and do-over. I think u should sit down and let your family member know the same. Dont sugarcoat anything, just give it to her "REAL". Keep us posted and good luck.....
Without airing too much of my family's laundry out the details are that she is a young adult with very little resources and has a infant. Family members tried to help her out but I'm afraid they did not give her very much direction on how to move forward towards independence. Then she took off with a man (not the baby's father) with out very much commentary as to why.
I agree. Most people assume you don't care, so when you don't say anything it reinforces that impression. It's not always easy to know what to say without it sounding judgmental or confrontational, so I would just say something like 'I hope you know I care about you and your future and that I've noticed a change in your behavior. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I want you to know I'm available to listen and to help you in anyway that I can'
I think it also sometimes helps to share a story from your own life that shows you can relate or in some ways shows that you are open to hearing something they might be afraid to share.
We can always make people change, even when we know it's for their own good, but we can set a good example and make ourselves available to help when they're ready to accept their need for change.
I'm not sure what the exact circumstance is, but often just letting that person know you're available to talk without judgment does a lot. I have a younger family member who is going down a dark path right now, and she was afraid to tell me what was going on. Once I helped her feel reassured that she could say anything to me without fear that I'd go to her parents, she laid it all out. We talked ALOT and I was able to encourage her to get help from a counselor and talk to mom and dad.