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Thread: How do I relate to my Nephew?

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bismirch View Post
    So I've recently gotten to the point that I've pretty much given up on trying to have a relationship with my nephew. It's a bit of a disappointment too because I have no children of my own. My ex wife did not want children, and when we separated a few years ago, I was entering my 40's. I would never say never, but the chances of meeting someone age appropriate that wants to have kids at this point seems pretty unlikely, and I'm not so crazy about the idea of having young kids in the house in my 50's.

    Anyways, since I never had kids, I've been waiting for my nephew to grow up a bit to be able to do all those cool things that my uncles did with me while growing up. The only problem is that I have absolutely nothing in common with this kid. Over the last 10 years, I've taken him to go do stuff a few times a year, and he's just miserable when he comes to visit because all he wants to do is play video games. I wouldn't say that I'm against video games, but I feel like he should be able to break away from his routine for a day or two and enjoy some things that his parents don't do with him like camping, fishing, going to a theme park, trail riding etc. Well, to put it bluntly, he doesn't like any of that stuff. He doesn't really like anything other than gaming. I've asked him what he'd like to do many times, and he just shrugs his shoulders and has this look on his face like he's counting down the minutes until he can go home. I even offered to give him my old truck and teach him to drive if he got his learners permit a while back, and he responded with "I don't need to drive." Like he has no interest in owning a car and driving. He also has no interest in dating, partying, or even just meeting up with friends???

    So a few weeks ago, I called his mom to ask if he wanted to come over and work with me for a few days (I'm a contractor) only to hear him in the background say "tell him I'm not hear." It actually broke my heart a bit that he didn't even want to talk to me.

    A lot of this could be that he's a bit like his dad, who's my brother. Pretty much nobody in our entire family has ever been able to get along with his dad. He's not a jerk or anything, but he's one of the most selfish people you will ever meet. If it's not about him, he doesn't care. He's been that way his whole life. He's called me or either of our parents maybe a handful of times in the last 20 years, and every time it was because he needed something. The guy grew up in the same household that I did, so it's got to be at least partly genetic.

    I just don't know what to do. It's like I've given up on the kid. Will he outgrow this? Is this common with kids that age? I wasn't anything like that, but some of my friends kids are a lot like my nephew with the whole zombie thing. It's like they have no interests, aspirations, or personality.

    Any advice would be welcomed from people who have a bit more experience with this than myself. Obviously, I have no clue how to relate to a kid like this, but I would like to.
    Sounds like most kids, play video games and demand people serve them and of course pay for their gaming!

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler View Post
    That explains a lot.
    Even if he wasn't slightly hikkikomori being sixteen is a difficult age to reach and bond.
    It may improve or it might not, but sixteen...yikes...very tough.
    Yeah, I noticed they like to hang out and do their own thing...
    To live is to suffer~Fritz Lang

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    That's a hard one.

    If you kept in touch with the kid, that would've made a difference, but just showing up and wanting to be part of his life now...


    And being a teenager is about becoming independent. Maybe he'll be more willing to become part of your life in ten years time?

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by swing_voter View Post
    That's a hard one.

    If you kept in touch with the kid, that would've made a difference, but just showing up and wanting to be part of his life now...


    And being a teenager is about becoming independent. Maybe he'll be more willing to become part of your life in ten years time?
    I've been in touch with him since the say he was born. I didn't start taking him to do a lot of stuff until about 10 years ago because he was too young.
    I don't know how you drew that conclusion???

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bismirch View Post
    I don't know.

    I feel like that would be almost like doing drugs with a drug addict just to keep their friendship. If he had any other interests, that's what I would be using to bond with him. Like anything, but these games.

    In moderation, I don't see a problem with video games but spending the amount of time he does on them obviously isn't a good thing. It's affected him in a negative way both physically and mentally. I just feel like encouraging such a thing would would be no different than encouraging him to eat junk food or to be high all day.
    Right or wrong as you may be about that, he's probably not very likely to warm up to you if he gets the impression that you want to try and be his parent rather than a friend (who happens to be an adult). How often he plays video games may be something best left up to him and his parents, as I'd suspect that he feels anyone else trying to impose their will onto him is out of line. Maybe his excessiveness is a mistaken impression on your part, or maybe it's just a phase he needs to get through. Either way, he obviously doesn't like it when you try and decide for him which recreational activities he should prefer, so maybe just hold your nose and embrace it? Pick up a copy of his favorite game for yourself and give it a try. Then have a funny story to tell about what a giant n00b you are, but also that you ended up kind-of liking some aspect of it. Then (hopefully) let him ramble on for 5 minutes about game stuff that makes no sense and enjoy the fact he's not trying to hide from you. Just my perspective anyway.

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by HennyBogan View Post
    Sounds like most kids, play video games and demand people serve them and of course pay for their gaming!
    I once was reading an article by a child psychologist about narcissism and teenagers. He said that some level of narcissism is Universal at that age and to be accepted. He says he never makes a diagnosis of narcissism in that age group. His advice to parents instead is just love them as much as you can and realize this is usually just a stage.

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bismirch View Post
    So I've recently gotten to the point that I've pretty much given up on trying to have a relationship with my nephew. It's a bit of a disappointment too because I have no children of my own. My ex wife did not want children, and when we separated a few years ago, I was entering my 40's. I would never say never, but the chances of meeting someone age appropriate that wants to have kids at this point seems pretty unlikely, and I'm not so crazy about the idea of having young kids in the house in my 50's.

    Anyways, since I never had kids, I've been waiting for my nephew to grow up a bit to be able to do all those cool things that my uncles did with me while growing up. The only problem is that I have absolutely nothing in common with this kid. Over the last 10 years, I've taken him to go do stuff a few times a year, and he's just miserable when he comes to visit because all he wants to do is play video games. I wouldn't say that I'm against video games, but I feel like he should be able to break away from his routine for a day or two and enjoy some things that his parents don't do with him like camping, fishing, going to a theme park, trail riding etc. Well, to put it bluntly, he doesn't like any of that stuff. He doesn't really like anything other than gaming. I've asked him what he'd like to do many times, and he just shrugs his shoulders and has this look on his face like he's counting down the minutes until he can go home. I even offered to give him my old truck and teach him to drive if he got his learners permit a while back, and he responded with "I don't need to drive." Like he has no interest in owning a car and driving. He also has no interest in dating, partying, or even just meeting up with friends???

    So a few weeks ago, I called his mom to ask if he wanted to come over and work with me for a few days (I'm a contractor) only to hear him in the background say "tell him I'm not hear." It actually broke my heart a bit that he didn't even want to talk to me.

    A lot of this could be that he's a bit like his dad, who's my brother. Pretty much nobody in our entire family has ever been able to get along with his dad. He's not a jerk or anything, but he's one of the most selfish people you will ever meet. If it's not about him, he doesn't care. He's been that way his whole life. He's called me or either of our parents maybe a handful of times in the last 20 years, and every time it was because he needed something. The guy grew up in the same household that I did, so it's got to be at least partly genetic.

    I just don't know what to do. It's like I've given up on the kid. Will he outgrow this? Is this common with kids that age? I wasn't anything like that, but some of my friends kids are a lot like my nephew with the whole zombie thing. It's like they have no interests, aspirations, or personality.

    Any advice would be welcomed from people who have a bit more experience with this than myself. Obviously, I have no clue how to relate to a kid like this, but I would like to.
    You're mad he doesn't like the things you like to do and at him not putting in any effort to get to try those things while also not liking the things he likes to do and not putting in any effort to do those things.

    Takes two to tango, you can't judge him for his interests while expecting him to be open minded to all yours. If you want to be the one to initiate a better relationship, show more of an interest in the things he does like even if you don't.
    Trump November 2013: "Leadership: Whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

    Trump as President of the United States March 2020:
    “I don't take responsibility at all”


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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    My own son is one of those gamer types who coops himself up a lot.
    And he doesn't use his disability as the excuse either, he's quite certain that even if he was entirely able bodied, he's pretty sure he would be the same anyway.

    When he was between twelve and oh...I guess maybe seventeen or eighteen, we didn't have much of a relationship either.
    And, he was sullen and withdrawn, stubborn to the point of pure obstinance and moody all the time.

    Now he's twenty-four and we have a pretty damn good relationship. He helps out a lot around the house, does the little part time work he has, he pays more attention to his diet and appearance, and seems to be working out a lot of the issues he used to struggle with a lot more in the past.

    One of these days I suspect he's going to get involved with someone, and they will likely be as weird as he is, and I'll be delighted. As long as he's happy, that's all I care about. The kid has more than enough on his plate as it is.
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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bismirch View Post
    I don't know.

    I feel like that would be almost like doing drugs with a drug addict just to keep their friendship. If he had any other interests, that's what I would be using to bond with him. Like anything, but these games.

    In moderation, I don't see a problem with video games but spending the amount of time he does on them obviously isn't a good thing. It's affected him in a negative way both physically and mentally. I just feel like encouraging such a thing would would be no different than encouraging him to eat junk food or to be high all day.
    I get you. But you know what? You've got to start at a footing that he'll be at least open to your attempt.

    How about this for a start? Take him to a special gaming event (ideally out of town where you can spend a couple of days together).
    Surely those two whole days won't be spent on gaming, and you can talk while you eat out and figure out what other things aside from gaming he's interested about. You can make plans around those for next time. Maybe, you can start bonding that way.

    But be careful. If he knows how you feel about his gaming - he'd be on the defensive right off the bat!
    So, don't be critical about gaming or games, or even remotely sound that you are.

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    Re: How do I relate to my Nephew?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldFatGuy View Post
    15 thru 17, they go through a grunting stage. Be happy you got a whole sentence.
    Hahahahaha

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