MY niece Stole from us. Should I tell oth­ers?

Woman (UK) - - Ask The Experts -

When I said yes to my sis­ter’s 15-year-old daugh­ter babysit­ting for us, I hoped it might heal an es­trange­ment we’ve had for years. But then we started miss­ing money and small items and the drink bot­tles were emp­tier ev­ery time she’d been. So, feel­ing bad about it, we set up some hid­den cam­eras about the place. And, sure enough, we caught her go­ing through our draw­ers, tak­ing money and drink­ing with a friend. We con­tacted my sis­ter and laid the whole thing in front of her. What ap­palled us was that she just de­fended her daugh­ter and now we’re not talk­ing again. Two of my neigh­bours use her as a babysit­ter too, and I’ve heard them com­plain of sneak bur­glar­ies. Should I tell them?

Suzie says:

Sadly, yes. Keep quiet about this and you are in col­lu­sion and no amount of ‘stick by your fam­ily’ ex­cuses that. Tell your neigh­bours what hap­pened to you, what you did and how your sis­ter re­sponded. The point is that if you sim­ply had a sus­pi­cion and your ac­cu­sa­tion was de­nied, what you would be pass­ing on to your neigh­bours would be hearsay, and that doesn’t stand up in court. What you have, how­ever, is proof – not only of the young per­son’s bad be­hav­iour but her mother’s worse be­hav­iour in re­fus­ing to take it se­ri­ously. What­ever the rea­sons for that es­trange­ment, maybe they were good ones.

Hav­ing proof of some­one’s bad be­hav­iour should be acted on – even if they are fam­ily

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