February 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm #193967
Hello everyone 🙂
I am new here so Hi to everyone 🙂 I would like to have you help about a family concern.
My brother is 18, and the only boy of a family with 3 girls, i am the eldest. I've always looked after them like a mother. My brother has always been treated like a little prince by me parents since he is the only boy. I've always hated the education they were gave him because i knew the futur consequences of it . He had always what he wanted even when he had bad grades. He is average at school, he a good kid but I don't like what he is becoming. My little sis wanted a dog, but he suggested that she has a bid dog, now he hardly take of it. He has always a health problem and i feel like sometime he is faking it, just to get away from stuff that annoys him … He is a picky eater, since he was a child, when he doesn't like what my mom cooked, she gives him always money to go buy something outside ( this girls had to eat whatever she cooked) … She wants my sisters to serve his food. He never does cleaning or cores at home (mom think he doesn't know to do it) . He's working during the holidays, he doing A-levels (scientific subjects) and he doesn't seem to be interested that much about what he wanna do after his A-Level… So i am pushing him to the max, maybe a little too much ? I am not sure if i am mad at him for being like this or i am mad at my parents for giving him an education of a little prince ? I am worried about his future maybe too much ? My bf think that i should not overprotect him or put pressure on him ? BUt I disagree with him coz I just want the best for my brother.
What should do ? We have no problem talking to each other because we are really close ,when i don't like something, i tell them and we discuss.
Thank youFebruary 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm #193971
It is obvious you care and love your younger brother. It looks like you will be swimming up river to try to effect any changes with him. What I mean is that he is 18 and mostly formed by being spoiled by your parents.
I am not sure if you can really do anything for him considering how he was raised and how old he is. You can push him, encourage him, yell at him, cajole him but he has already been trained to feel entitled and privileged.
If he does anything because of you it is not from his internal motivation, desires or goals. This is a short term “fix.” Once the external pressure (i.e. you) goes away then he will probably fall back to his current way of thinking and behavior.
Since you are such an open family, share your concerns with them but you are not responsible for his life. He is.
It is good to understand the difference between meddling and caring.
MarkFebruary 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm #193973
There is a difference between supporting, helping and enabling.
Supporting someone is being fully committed to a person, whilst allowing them to do their part in terms of making any changes necessary. Supporting another empowers them, as it comes from connecting to another as an equal and understanding that they have the power within them to arise above whatever is challenging them.
Helping another is when we essentially go over the line and enter into the other person’s space in an attempt to bring them to the line. This approach occurs when we perceive another as a victim of their circumstances, and judge that they are incapable of coming to the line for themselves and hence feel that to ‘support’ them we need to do the work for them. The problem with helping another in this way is that, even if we do succeed in getting the person to come to the line it is essentially our energy doing it not theirs.
Enabling behavior shields people from experiencing the full impact and consequences of their behavior. Enabling is different from helping and supporting in that it allows the enabled person to be irresponsible.
One needs to be very mindful especially within family if one is crossing the line between supporting, helping, or enabling.
My observation has been that receiving ‘help' from a family member more often then not ends in resentment so I would focus on support – creating the space for your brother to find his own way and yes that means allowing him to make mistakes. It is not your role as sister to parent.
The other issue you mention is your concern and possibility jealously of how your parents parent your brother. It is understandable that you view the difference is treatment as enabling you brother’s behavior and it not being fair. (Am I correct in assuming there is some cultural influences at play here?) This treatment may not be fair however that issue is between you and your parents and is not about you and your brother.
You are very fortunate to have a relationship with your brother where you can both talk about issues that concern you. My advice for what is worth is to be mindful about the ways you are communicating. Are you supporting, helping, or enabling. It is possible that the best support you can offer is being available to listen vice pushing an agenda.
February 23, 2018 at 4:52 am #194037
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Peter.
Your brother's role in the family is The Little Prince. Your role in the family is the Other Mother. What would happen if you stopped playing your role? The problem isn't your brother. It's the family system and the family dynamics.
Let your parents coddle your brother. But don't run over there worrying about him, taking care of him, giving him advice, whatever you typically do.
Just tell your family, “My brother seems fine.” And live your own life!
If, in the future, he runs to you with his issues, reply, “That sounds like a personal problem. I'm sure you can handle it. I believe in you!”
For a while you might be the designated Family Problem because you're not “helping”. But what will happen is you will tacitly give the other family members permission to live their own lives as well.