I have never written to an advice columnist, but I really don’t know how to deal with this issue. I am older, early 70s. I have a nephew who I have not seen hardly any of in person. We occasionally chat on WhatsApp and I remember his daughter with a gift on her birthday, but that is the extent of our connections.
He lives in a different part of Canada from me. A couple of years ago, he started sexting me. It happened a few times and when I finally asked him about it, he said that it was a mistake, and was meant for his wife and apologized. He travels out of the country with his company and can be away for three to four weeks.
This unwanted sexting continued off and on for a while. It really upset me. He finally admitted that he was intentionally sending it to me. He also said that he was having problems with alcohol.
He finally stopped but now he has started sexting my daughter, his cousin. I don’t know why he is doing this.
How do my daughter and I deal with this?
Not a compliment
This is a sad and scary story. Unfortunately, if he doesn’t stop, and you’ve asked him numerous times, you’ll have to go to the police. I don’t know the exact protocol of what they will suggest, but I imagine the first step will be for you and your daughter to change your phone numbers.
You may have to call his wife, but I would talk to the police first and get their input.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman toying with a girls’ trip or spending time with her unemployed boyfriend (Oct. 20):
Reader – “Go. The relationship should already be over.”
Lisi – Succinct and to the point.
FEEDBACK Regarding the remote in-laws (Oct. 20):
Reader – “I am curious as the daughter-in-law doesn’t mention if her husband is contacting his parents. I am a mother and grandmother that generally never calls my children unless there is something major to report or a special event. I wait for them to call me as we all have busy lives, and they don’t need to interrupt their daily activities to chat with me about the day’s happenings.
“We do not live close geographically, and it is possible to go weeks or months before they call or FaceTime. We have regular contact as a group through texts that usually include fun photos. It is quite possible that the husband’s parents are granting their son the autonomy they think he wants. He can initiate calls and get togethers if he wants more interaction with his parents.”
Lisi – I’m not judging, but this makes me sad. Obviously, I’m very close with my mother. We speak on the phone several times a day, and we live only a five-minute drive apart.
My in-laws live across the planet and we don’t speak as often, though they speak to my husband, their son, twice a week. With the time difference and everyone’s busy schedules we can also go weeks at a time. But not out of disinterest. On the contrary, they are always on top of what each child is up to, send age-appropriate and thoughtful gifts, and ask intriguing and interested questions.
Grandchildren can learn wonders from their grandparents and vice versa. It’s a uniquely special relationship that should be nurtured and encouraged.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mom walking her overly friendly baby (Oct. 21):
Reader – “This question gives me a chance to express my concern about how many parents are not engaging with their babies. Either they are on their phones or letting the child self-entertain via TV, video games etc.
“I watched a documentary that stated children were losing the ability to read emotions on other people's faces. They grow up being uncomfortable engaging face-to-face with others.
“The COVID pandemic has done more than enough harm to mental health issues in both adults and children, so doing all that can be done to make for healthier conditions needs to be a priority.”
Lisi – Yes, COVID has definitely done a number on many of us, in ways we may still be trying to understand. I cried with my friend when she told me her baby didn’t recognize her mother without her mask on.
I couldn’t agree more that children need face-to-face time with their parents, grandparents, friends, etc. Thank goodness many of us feel safe socializing without masks.