Fam­ily nanny is con­flicted about ex­pos­ing dad’s bias


DEAR ABBY: I am a full-time nanny for a fam­ily with two chil­dren, ages 7 and 9. The mother is won­der­ful, and so are the kids. But the fa­ther, who is ab­sent due to work travel most of the time, teaches his chil­dren at­ti­tudes I strongly dis­agree with. He says hate­ful things about peo­ple who are gay, obese or poor.

The chil­dren have now be­gun to re­peat these com­ments, point­ing out large peo­ple when we are in pub­lic, or say­ing nasty things about the home­less we see as we drive. I try to com­bat this ha­tred by shar­ing words of love or ac­cep­tance.

The mom is mor­ti­fied when I tell her the things her chil­dren have said. She doesn’t share the same at­ti­tudes as her hus­band, but she works a lot and isn’t around to dis­cuss things like this with her kids in the mo­ment.

I feel like part of the fam­ily but I won­der if I am over­step­ping my bound­aries by ad­mon­ish­ing them for say­ing things their fa­ther has taught them to be­lieve. Is it my place to teach the kids lessons about ac­cep­tance that are con­trary to what he tells them? — NANNY IN TAMPA

DEAR NANNY: The per­son to whom you should be ad­dress­ing this ques­tion is the chil­dren’s mother. Whether I think teach­ing the chil­dren com­pas­sion and tol­er­ance is the right thing to do (which, by the way, I do) is not rel­e­vant. You should abide by her wishes be­cause she is your em­ployer.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-yearold fe­male. I’m not mar­ried and have no kids. I’ve been dat­ing a man who is 14 years older for two years now. He has no chil­dren.

We have talked about mar­riage and hav­ing chil­dren, but re­cently I found out he has no re­tire­ment sav­ings. This scares me be­cause I’m think­ing about the fu­ture.

I am at a loss. I don’t want to be the snobby woman who kicks him when he’s down and leaves him, but at the same time, I don’t un­der­stand why he hasn’t planned for re­tire­ment. Am I wrong for think­ing this way? — CON­TEM­PLAT­ING MY FU­TURE IN SANTA ROSA, CALIF.

DEAR CON­TEM­PLAT­ING: If you don’t un­der­stand your boyfriend’s think­ing on the sub­ject of fi­nan­cial plan­ning, con­tinue dis­cussing it with him un­til you do. He may not re­al­ize how im­por­tant it is to plan, in­vest and save for the fu­ture. Many peo­ple older than he is are now hav­ing a rude awak­en­ing about how long they will need to con­tinue work­ing un­til they have enough of a nest egg to re­tire. In many cases, it takes the ef­fort of both spouses to ac­com­plish it -- if they can re­tire at all.

Please don’t call your­self names. I wouldn’t ac­cuse you of be­ing a “snob” be­cause you’re think­ing ra­tio­nally on the sub­ject of fi­nances. I call that be­ing sen­si­ble.

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