I have a brother who suffers from depression. He is in his late twenties, is unemployed, has almost no social life and lives by himself. Every other weekend for a day, I have him over at my house where I live with my wife and 2 daughters (7 and 3).
There was a time when he would speak and play with my eldest daughter, but the past few months he has begun to ignore her (he would smile and say 'hello' but that is it). My daughter has asked me why her uncle is different now and I just told her that he prefers to be by himself (not sure how to explain his exact condition to her). He still talks with me though (and she has probably noticed this as well).
I don't want to ask him why his behavior changed because I learned a long time ago not to criticize anything he does (he always assumes that I am blaming him or trying to find fault with him).
So given that he is ignoring her now, is it better to keep him away from the house and my daughter? Should I just meet him outside or go over to his place?
For now my daughter seems to have figured out not to expect too much from him and she just plays by herself or with her younger sister when he is around (I play with her also when he leaves).
I want to take care of my brother but I don't want his presence in the house to harm my daughter in any way. He used to have tantrums but he has gotten that under control the past few years and so far he has never "lost it" in front of my kids (although deep down I have a fear that one day he might).