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Ask Dr. Tseday: August 9, 2009

KL from Baltimore, MD asks: My husband and I have been raising his niece for eight years. She’s 14 now. Her mother has been in and out of her life since she was born because she’s a drug-addict. Our niece is wondering if she should keep her mother in her life. What should we say?

Dr. Tseday responds: The mother is in no position to have a “relationship” with anyone, including herself. Having the mother in your niece’s life does more damage than not having her in her life at all. Cut-off the relationship. Your niece has you and your husband as good parents providing a stable and loving home. Allow no more contact between your niece and her mother. You can visit the idea of reuniting them when the mother has sobered up for at least five years.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

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