I am really close with my nephew who is 13. We have had an incredibly close relationship for years now, and I have noticed that he has given me the role of trusted adult/confident. We talk about a lot of things, from basic knowledge to different worldviews and opinions, etc, to things that are bothering him. He really trusts me and I have worked really hard to gain this trust.

The problem now is that his mother (my sister) is asking me whether he has spoken to me recently about anything that is troubling him. He definitely has, about a couple of things, and each time he has approached me I have given him appropriate advice. I have also urged him to speak to his parents if he feels comfortable enough to, he knows they only want the best for him.

Here’s my conundrum. I feel like I am in a tricky situation here because I do not feel it is appropriate to break his trust and privacy. He came to me because he could trust me. However, as a parent myself, I would absolutely hate to think that my child was confiding in another adult instead of me (because I would want to help them). I would also ultimately understand, and be happy that they have someone other than me whom they can trust, but it would be pretty upsetting to be kept out of it. I don’t want to lie to my sister but I don’t want to break the trust we have.

For context, he is having relationship problems and some bullying. His parents are aware of the bullying but clearly not the relationship problems.