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by Abigail Van Buren

Aunt Misses Adult Time With Siblings Before They Had Kids

DEAR ABBY: I am a newer aunt who feels like I have lost my siblings in this life transition. When I call, I hear screaming boys in the background and it gives me shudders, so I don't do it often. When I visit, every single adult's attention is on the boys and no real conversation ensues.

When I grew up, kids were not a part of adult time. How can I let them know their kids are so unruly I can hardly communicate with them anymore? Or should I just leave my siblings to their own families now? -- UNIMPRESSED AUNT IN TEXAS

DEAR UNIMPRESSED: Because you are not yet a parent, you may not have noticed that when parents of small children get on the phone, their children, in a bid for their attention, become either very noisy or very quiet. The noisiness is preferable, because when the kids become very quiet, they are usually doing something they're not supposed to.

Because the noise your nieces and nephews make unnerves you, schedule phone calls with your siblings after their little ones have been put to bed. And if you would like adult/alone time with them, ask if you can schedule a lunch away from their home for an occasional visit.

Read more in: Family & Parenting