DEAR ABBY: I read your column faithfully, and I respect and trust your advice. My concern is for a nephew living with my sister in another state. "Bret" is 19. He lives at home, rarely leaves the house, and spends his days in front of the television or at the computer. His weight currently tops 300 pounds. (He's about 5 foot 10.)
Bret dropped out of school at 16 and eventually earned his G.E.D. He cannot or will not get a job and refuses to go to classes or counseling. His mother, her boyfriend and two brothers are classic enablers. They provide him with everything he needs. They are literally killing him with kindness.
I am very worried about Bret and at a loss as to what I can do, if anything. Any suggestions would be appreciated. -- FRUSTRATED ON THE WEST COAST
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You're right; Bret's family is doing him no favor by enabling him.
Your nephew needs a friend. Make an effort to get closer to him, one-on-one. If it's difficult to visit him in person, start talking to him online and invite him to come to visit you. If he accepts, try, without being pushy, to show him some of the possibilities that are available to him outside his home environment and away from the computer. If you know people his age, introduce him. It's a start in the right direction.