Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

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crashbang
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Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby crashbang » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:49 am

My sister in law has asked my husband and I if we would be happy to have their daughter (currently 15) to stay with us for her sixth form. She wants to apply to a school or sixth form college in London that specialises in art or fashion. They live in the midlands. I get on with my niece really well but I'm not sure that I want to have the responsibility of a teenager for two years. Our own children are only 7 and 9 and I think that it will be too stressful. Am i being mean? My husband wants to oblige.
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windmill26
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby windmill26 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:01 pm

I wouldn't .Sounds like a recipe for a disaster...it is a huge responsibility to put on someone else shoulders (family or not)!  
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pkmang
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby pkmang » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:04 am

I think you should. If family won’t help, who will?
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Jellybeans
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby Jellybeans » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:12 am

Its a hard one... but I personally would think its a big responsibility.Whatever will go wrong ,you will be the one to blamed .Cant she be in a student accommodation and go home for the weekends?
Or her parents need to move with her for that 2 years.
Let us know how have u decided and how did they take it
Good luck
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fulhammum
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby fulhammum » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:22 am

There seems to be the need to explore this more in a conversation before you can make a final decision. I think it could work if you make sure you get all of the structures agreed, curfews, travel, finance, information exchange with her mum etc. Discuss how your sis in law will still be her parent and what role you will play. Your niece could be really helpful to you as a babysitter and as a nice influence for your kids if she’s a nice person. Personally I think that if family can then they should. Also it’s such a personal decision but if you feel you can open your heart to her then give it a go! Good luck!
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IrenaP
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby IrenaP » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:58 am

Go with your gut. A teenager in London with no parents sounds like a recipe for disaster. Or at least a lot of work for you in addition to your kids. Could she come down to London for a week long module or two over the half terms to build up her portfolio? She could do courses at Central St Martins or UAL
that way. I would think that would be a better investment. Plus parental support during 6th form is important I think.

Ps my sister is in fashion in NY and did that sort of thing. Key is for her to good work experience stints in fashion houses or with small up and coming designers.

In terms of decent art colleges surely there is something in the midlands region in Coventry or Birmingham??
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dudette
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby dudette » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:35 am

Wow! I actually think this is an outrageous request! How are you supposed to manage her? Will she be allowed to come and go as she pleases or will you have to be a substitute parent? Who will oversee her education, go to parents’ evenings etc? What happens at weekends? What happens if she gets into trouble? Will they pay you for her board and lodging? This is a huge responsibility to put on your shoulders. I think if you don’t want to do it (and it sounds like you don’t), then you should say no, otherwise you may have two years of resentment which could damage your marriage (is she your husband’s niece or yours?). Obviously I’m not a party to your family relationships but to me this seems a very cheeky request and puts you in a very difficult position. If art is that important to her why don’t they look into boarding schools? Many offer bursaries if they can’t afford the fees. You could perhaps offer to help in this or help to find a school closer to home. I hope you can resolve it amicably as I can see it being the sort of thing that causes families to fall out with each other.
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Janet14
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby Janet14 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 am

Well not exactly the same but we’ve had lots of au pairs not much older and I find them surprisingly mature and no trouble at all plus could mean you have a live in babysitter??
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Lola123
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby Lola123 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:19 am

I think you would need to have a very clear conversation about expectations.
Entering 6th form for any child is a big change (3 of mine have done it) and if that is coupled with moving to London and away from her parents for the first time it could be challenging. That it is not always negative but she could require a lot of input on self confidence etc. Then the 17 year old ‘issues’ Drinking, drugs, relationships & curfews and general house rules. I think you should set out your expectations re the rules before any decision is made and understand what role her parents are going to take in parenting. Finally think about your younger children in terms of the attention you will be able to give them, again not a negative but you will be shared - I have 3 and know that!
Personally I think it’s a very very big ask but with detailed conversations it could work and also there should be a conversation about ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ What happens to your niece? It may not be her fault that it doesn’t work but she will be the one that will have her education interrupted.
Surely there must be comparable options in the Midlands, I can’t believe the only offering in sixth form is London!
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ally30_1998
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby ally30_1998 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:05 am

Hello

We have have had nieces and nephews from outside London stay with us for various reasons and lengths over the last 10 years and would certainly be fine with the arrangement you describe, however, it would largely depend on what sort of person she is and whether you think she’d fit in with your family.

As you say, you already have two younger children and don’t want more ‘work’ but this need not be the case if she pulls her weight, plus your kids are likely to love having an older ‘sister’ around (assuming she likes them and gives them attention).

We’ve just had a relative staying here for 18months - (was meant to be six weeks!) but she’s now moved out with friends. My own child wasn’t initially thrilled as he is autistic with no siblings but he had to learn to adapt and get on with it - it’s important to model kindness and generosity to your kids imho.
My nephew stays most weeks to do late shifts at his part time job (he is in college and lives 30 miles away). He is our silent guest - leaves no trace other than the odd box of quality street !

The point is, we are fortunate to have plenty of room and live in an area of huge opportunity and are happy to help family.

All that said, if I was her and her parents, I’d be wanting to ‘save’ that favour for when she needs to be in London for internships and job hunting. Plus I agree with others, a sixth form and degree level she should stick to midlands- fantastic places for art and fashion.

HTH
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Wetherby
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby Wetherby » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:32 am

We’ve done something similar and it’s been brilliant but we did talk it through with my niece and her parents at length beforehand so we all knew what to expect and what the rules were on socialising, boyfriends, helping out etc. It’s been wonderful for my younger son to have her here and she’s a great help with cooking!! And she’s fun. We miss her a bit during the holidays! I think most teenagers are more mature than many parents think. My niece has lots of friends and is a party girl but deep down she’s sensible and is always back when she says. And she knows that if she isn’t the arrangement is over. I think if you set clear rules at the start then this could be great for all of you.
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K1999
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby K1999 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:09 am

I have 2 children both late teenagers and trust me when I say it’s been a rollercoaster.

They start wanting to drink, to date, go to clubs, stay up late, talk back, slam doors. Having the responsibility of a teenager is pretty stressful. Plus who is going to pay for the extra mouth to feed, toiletries, etc.

They start trying to push back, they want to wear makeup, wear shorter skirts, stay in bed till midday, leave mess everywhere and never clean up etc etc. It’s all very normal stuff but it’s still tough to navigate and that’s when they’re your own, and not with someone else’s. Plus there is your other kids to consider. They will be exposed to much more with an older child around.

There is also a lot of stress with school, revision and exams and that just adds to the mix.

I’m not trying to make it sound horrendous but I am being realistic, it’s not a walk in the park. It could be a make or break situation with your niece and her parents. It’s frankly an enormous ask and I would make sure your husband considers just what’s involved. And looks like you will have the lions share of the responsibility.

Good luck in what ever you decide.
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NoodleFan
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:19 am

As one poster said, it totally depends on what sort of person she is. If she’s kind and considerate then it could be a lovely experience for you all. If you’ve seen a wild side already then I’d think very carefully...

Also you’d hope that she’d behave more considerately for you than she would for her own patents.

No idea what I’d do in your situation... guess it also depends on how your sister will take it if you say no...

Best of luck!
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NoodleFan
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:20 am

Sister in law sorry
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Sometimeslovely
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Re: Sister in law has asked if my teenage niece can lodge with us

Postby Sometimeslovely » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:37 am

I’d say go for it but only commit to 3 months at a time. Make this clear from the beginning and make sure your in laws have a contingency plan of it doesn’t work out: on the flip side of this, they are taking a big risk in allowing other people to have so much influence in these important years.

Have a review with the niece and your in laws every 3 months and if it’s not working out then make sure they have a back up plan so she can either continue her studies but with different accommodation or even closer to home.

You say your husband is happy to oblige now but 6 months down the line he might be sick to the back teeth of her and it might be *you* who’s wanting her to stay!

But as long as you see how it goes every 3 (or even 6) months, you always have that get out clause.
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