DEAR ABBY: I am a full-time nanny for a family with two children, ages 7 and 9. The mother is wonderful, and so are the kids. But the father, who is absent due to work travel most of the time, teaches his children attitudes I strongly disagree with. It is not often I must interact with him, but when I have, he says hateful things about people who are gay, obese or poor.
The children have now begun to repeat these comments, pointing out large people when we are in public, or saying nasty things about the homeless we see as we drive. I try to combat this hatred by sharing words of love or acceptance.
The mom is mortified when I tell her the things her children have said. She doesn't share the same attitudes as her husband, but she works a lot and isn't around to discuss things like this with her kids in the moment.
I feel like part of the family because I spend so much time with the children. But I wonder if I am overstepping my boundaries by admonishing them for saying things their father has taught them to believe. Is it my place to teach the kids lessons about acceptance that are contrary to what he tells them? -- NANNY IN TAMPA
DEAR NANNY: The person to whom you should be addressing this question is the children's mother. Whether I think teaching the children compassion and tolerance is the right thing to do (which, by the way, I do) is not relevant. You should abide by her wishes because she is your employer.