The remarkable thing is that while they have this innocence...they are also SO MUCH more clever than we give them credit for.
And too easily hurt when families break up.
You do the best you can, but who knows whether or not the niece is going to be impacted later on by the fact that mom and dad are divorced and she’s living with grandma and grandpa (because mom gave her up) while dad’s in Afghanistan.
Mom still has the younger brother and sister.
You don’t want to tolerate everything...but you don’t want to be overly harsh either.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."
Old fashioned, these days, but whatever problems the children have to deal with from the crap their parents dealt them, they CAN behave properly.
Children in those situations need lots of time, and lots of love.
Grandad always told me that 'you don't have to be smart, to be good'.
If that's too harsh, I'm sorry, but that's the way it is around papa John.