My recently-turned 18 year old nephew has always been a difficult child. Both of his parents were difficult child's. His mom, my baby sister, has babied him but was also not afraid to "put the hammer down" when absolutely necessary. brother in law has always let nephew have is way. He could never handle the whining AT ALL so would give in just to not have to hear it. Nephew learned early on how to play his parents. He always asked dad and then when mom said no, he would let his parents have at it while he got to do what he wanted because dad said so. Mom, trying to keep marriage together, spoke her piece to death but then dropped it so nephew wouldn't see her as the bad guy. I know, pretty sick, but true. A couple times, sister called panicked because it was late (after legal curfew) and she didn't know where nephew was. When she told her husband, he said not to worry because nephew would come home. When she mentioned calling the police to help find him, husband forbade her to do it. Again, to keep marriage, she didn't. Nephew has always been a follower in every sense of the word. He will go along with anyone that does anything that sounds like fun and possible consequences never occur to him. Many times these "friends" have not been the kind I would let MY kids be around but..... Nephew has been in legal trouble a few times as a juvenile for minor "stupid kid stuff". We all hoped he'd learn but his PO (the only one that deals with juveniles) went a little too easy on him, in my humble opinion. Nephew had fines and probation for a year or less. Nephew was a good kid while ON probation. My sister walked out on her family 3 years ago to be with another man. It took a long time for either of her kids to talk to her but they have worked things out. My mom held a grudge against her for 2 years. My other sister still wants nothing to do with her. My difficult child 2 was very attached to my baby sister because she was like his other mom. She only lived 3 blocks away most of his life. Now, she lives an hour away. He was devastated when she "left him" and didn't want anything to do with her. That was fine with my mom until she had a change of heart and then all of a sudden, "difficult child 2 needs to get over it. He needs counseling or something!!!" She had forgiven so why can't everyone else (except other sister who she will never "go against") When he turned 18 I reminded him that now it was a whole new ball game and that the cops would have their eyes on him because of prior run-ins and the friends he chose to hang around with. I was right. Within 2 months (just a few weeks ago) he got caught for some stupid stuff with the "wrong crowd" and spent 2 days/nights in jail. My other sister jokingly told his dad that he should take a picture of nephew being walked from the jail to courthouse as a reminder when he gets out of hand. She also told my mom what she had said. My mom actually did just that and nephew saw her do it. Yes, my mom took a picture of nephew in shackles. Now, he is angry with my other sister and my mom and won't talk to them. Because he won't talk to them, they are withholding his Christmas gifts from them until he does. Neither of them is willing to let him feel what he's feeling and work it out for himself in his own time. My other sister says he has no right to be angry with her. I agree but he feels what he feels. My mom is actually planning on cornering nephew when she knows he's home so he HAS to hear her out. She deleted the picture from her camera as soon as she found out he was angry. "There is no reason for him to be mad at me for taking a lousy picture that doesn't even exist anymore! That kid has anger issues and needs help!" Now is it me or is this just sick? And what would you do if you were me and have a good rapport with nephew AND have learned to live with and handle the "dysfunction" in the family AND are in a position to teach him what his parents don't? Baby sister and other sister have had issues all their lives so his mom's opinions are skewed when it comes to other sister. Dad has now had enough and is riding nephew hard. The kid is getting very depressed. He's been taught to be this way, he inherited the genes for this kind of "normal" and now he's being punished for it by so many people. I'm torn.