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Your situation is sticky because you obviously want to maintain positive relationships with your relatives, but you also don’t want to endure the annoying and rude behavior of their children.

Since the kids are getting older, I think it’s fair to speak to them courteously and directly whenever they do something rude or thoughtless. Don’t attempt to get the parents to behave differently, since that’s unlikely. Instead, help your young relatives by giving them the sort of direction that makes them more pleasant to be around. Children often respond to other adults more willingly than to their own parents, especially if they’ve grown up with weak disciplinarians.

Have a question about parenting in today’s culture? Email marybeth@marybethhicks.com.