Question

I’m 30 years old and I have two kids – a girl who’s 12 and a boy who’s 8. Last year was a hard one for me so now I stay with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years so we know we’re good together. The problem is his sister is mistreating my daughter – she’s always putting her down and telling her how rude and useless she is. I love this guy – he was my pillar of strength last year and I can’t imagine life without him – but I also love my kids and I want them to have the best I can give them. Do you think I should move out or just wait and see if things get better? Whatever I do I’m afraid it will put strain

on my relationship.

Answer

Your daughter’s emotional wellbeing should be your priority, and right now it sounds like it’s at stake. Waiting to see if things get better is the same as doing nothing about what’s going on. This issue needs to be addressed with your sister-in-law. What she’s doing is unacceptable and can be considered abuse. She might be redirecting frustration or anger that she feels about you onto your child, which of course is wrong. She needs to understand the damage she’s causing the child. I suggest you speak to your partner about what his sister is doing. Tell him it’s not that you want to cause conflict but that you need to safeguard your daughter’s wellbeing. This needs to be dealt with soon, before it gets out of hand.