My uncle is really overprotective when it comes to my siblings and me. My parents currently live abroad and only come home every two years.

We appreciate that he looks after us and understand that he wants no harm to come to us while we’re in his care, but sometimes if we’ve made a mistake he shames us in front of the whole family.

It’s really starting to feel like he expects us to be perfect.

Around New Year, he told me off for something I didn’t do so, of course, I defended myself, but he would have none of it.

It really felt wrong, though, as he’d accused me of something I hadn’t done. I cried afterwards and felt really upset for a long time.

I know his intentions are good and he sees it as a big responsibility to look after us while our parents are away, but I feel sometimes he crosses the line.

Is it too much? Is he bringing us up in the right way? I’m not so sure.

Aunty Lisa says

It must be really tough being separated from your parents, but I’m sure they have good reasons.

And, for your uncle, it is a big responsibility, so I understand that you don’t want to appear rude or ungrateful.

If I were you, I’d give your parents a call and confide in them – explain how you feel and give them some examples of situations you’ve found embarrassing or upsetting.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to talk to him about it and come up with a way forward.

You don’t say how old you are, but there comes a time in every kid’s life (the teenage years!) when they challenge authority because they want more freedom and to be treated as a young adult instead of a child.

That’s hard enough when you’re dealing with your own parents, but when it’s another relative it must be extra tricky.

I’m sure you try to behave responsibly, but you’re human and you’re going to make mistakes. That’s how you learn.

Maybe your parents can help him see that and also remind him of how hard it is for you being separated from them.

Also, don’t be afraid to confide in any other relatives closer to home, such as
an auntie or a grandmother.

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