Received Sunday, August 24, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
We moved to Mexico a year ago and have had a live in nanny since then. We absolutely adore her and so do our children. She is affectionately known as Maria Poppins in our house. She is a single mom with an 11 year old son who was living with his grandparents until this month. We invited him to come live with us as well.
He is a nice young man but has some issues. He treats his mom very disrespectfully. I don't understand all of what is said because he talks to her in Spanish and my Spanish is limited but I can tell and she has confided in me that he is angry with her all of the time and says ugly and mean things to her. I think part of it is his age and part of it is the circumstances under which he's been living the past two years. He's been living with various family members while his
mother was working. So I think he resents her.
She told me that she is embarrassed to reprimand him in front of us. I insisted that she starts doing it right away before things get too out of hand. I'm doubtful that she will. From what I can tell she seems to be somewhat clueless as how to handle the situation. She begs him not to act this way in front of us and threatens him but doesn't have any follow through.
I'm thinking of stepping in and taking over but I wonder if that will cause further problems. Ultimately I think it would be best coming from her but maybe she needs to see an example. I don't know if there are cultural differences that I'm not aware of that are affecting the way she handles his outbursts or if she just doesn't know what do to and could benefit from my example.
He likes to use my computer to check some sort of Mexican Myspace page and I was thinking of telling him no next time he asks me. I could say that I've been watching the way he treats his mother and don't approve. Until he changes his attitude and starts treating her with respect he won't be abel to use my computer. And if it continues I will take away his other privaledges as well.
We really like her and want to try and make the situation work if we can.