08-18-2018 05:43 AM
Hi, I'm new to this community and found it on my google-search for parent help forums.
I'm not actually a parent myself yet, but rather I'm trying to help my father (and his partner) to deal with the extraordinary behaviour of my younger step-sister. Since they can't be bothered with searching help online themselves: Here I am, trying to do just that.
So first off I would like to state the most important points of the whole situation my younger stepsister and our family is currently in:
So that's a lot of insights in our current situation already. The biggest problem, which I personally believe to be the root of all evil, is the stepsisters native father and this mans mother (her grandma). They are both pretty rich, to the point where 100 - 1000 bucks aren't really too significant for them anymore.
The stepsister learned to use her grandma as a constant source of money. Since this "handing out of money" to a 15 years old girl is considered very dangerous by the parents, the relationship between parents and grandma is very bad.
The problem with this is: She never learns how to handle money. Whenever she needs to buy something and her own pocketmoney (or now her new sallary) is not enough, grandma will help her out pretty much without any conditions set. For example, stepsister almost regularely breaks her cellphone and even her laptop due to being way too uncareful with them. But why be careful when you get a new one for free anyway?..
This grandma is also a problem when it comes to making her pass a small part of her monthly sallary to the housholding-budget: Her father is trying to win her back to his household by offering to charge no money at all for his household-budget.
All in all, her father aswell as her grandma are working completely against the goal of making my stepsister a grounded adult, able to manage money.
In case I've missed a part of the situation-puzzle, please let me know and I will glady add any missing information.
So here's my actual question to the community: What can her parents (or perhaps I myself as her stepbrother) do to guide her into a future as a responsible, happy adult? We are afraid the solution is really complicated due to the bad influence of both her friends and her father and grandma.
08-18-2018 09:26 AM
Welcome to RO Parents! Hopefully this community provides you with some insight around the situation regarding your stepsister. First up we are an Australian site, which means we can't provide you with any local resource or service advice - however the community can still offer you online peer support in a general sense.
It's definitely quite an affliction, and pretty clear you've had very varying experiences of life with different upbringings. It sounds like you want the best for your sister and it's incredibly difficult to see her Grandmother enabling this behaviour, is that right? Based on what you've told me, unless someone sits down with Dad and Grandmother - it's going to be really challenging to guide her in a more positive direction. After-all, she is still technically a child (I believe in the USA you're not legally an adult until you are 21 - correct me if I am wrong), and with about 9 more years of brain development ahead of her, her current conditioning is fostering this sense of dependence and lack of accountability. I can imagine this would be incredibly difficult for you to watch, have you considered talking to a family therapist, or mentioning this idea to the rest of the family?
I will tag others for their input
08-19-2018 01:37 AM
I know your stepsisters behavior sounds so incredibly frustrating for you. It sounds like you love her and you want what is best for her and the family. I think @Breez-RO is right, if the bio dad and grandma are not on board it will sabotage her maturity and healthy growth.
At this point maybe you can talk to your mom and dad about how this is effecting you. It sounds like boundaries with consequences are in order- however I think your parents are treading lightly so that she doesn't move out of the household? possibly? I feel self care for yourself and a maybe asking for a "family meeting" to talk about things could be a starting point to open up the communication.
08-19-2018 05:57 PM
Whilst I was reading your post I sensed that you're frustrated with your step sister but at the same time love her so much that you want to guide her to be a responsible adult.
Teenage years are quite difficult, they are more interested in their friends than parents, siblings etc.
They also like to experiment with drugs, alcohol and unsafe sex.
The best way to handle any teenager is to Talk to them and to listen, Loads of listening with no Judgement, even though you may not agree with their decisions. Offer advice calmly or tell her how you may of handled a similar experience. If she pushes you away and wont listen, just remember that a teenager whose behaviour pushes you away is a teenager who needs connection before anything else.
I encourage you to have a family meeting like @sunflowermom suggested but this needs to be planned carefully, as you don't want her to feel attacked and that you don't care about her.
Remind her that you love her and if you didn't you wouldn't be talking to her about your concerns.
All the best and keep us updated.