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Question
Posted by: MPHO | 2009/11/09

CONCERNED ABOUT SISTER

Hi Doc

I need you input on how to deal with my younger sister. she lost her job about a 10 months ago and has made half hearted attempts to get another one. with the recession, jobs are generally scarce and when we asked her to consider taking other jobs outside her field, like waiteresing, etc. she says she cant because these are low class. so she would rather be unemployed than consider other options.

this is frustrating for me and I dont understand it, she says she doesnt have a child and responsibilities and as such this is not a big deal. She is 25 and after refusing to stay with me and my husband, she moved back to the township where does not answer to anyone. whenever the issue of job come up, she is all defensive, etc.

She has now moved in with her boyfriend and seems to feel that the boyfriend must now take care of her. she says we always complaining and dont understand her whereas the boyfriend gives her money. this is big issue with the elders as she has effectively married herself off to the boyfriend and this is taboo in the family.

she is due to get money (R35 000) from our mom' s estate and she wants me to help her with the paperwork for the money to be realised but at this point I dont want her to have it as I am worried that she is going to waste it.

she says she is old enough to make her own decisions and we should leave her alone.there is an 11 year gap between us and ever since our mom died about 5 yrs ago I feel responsible for her and feel that I would have let our mom down if I were to do nothing and allow her to do all these things.

How do we handle this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well, if someone would rather be hungry than what they imagine is "low class", that's up to them. But it sounds more as though she expects other people to care for her and feed her, to save her from plunging into "low class " ! I might worry, though, about what she might be doing to support herself, as nobody can live with NO income.
Take legal advice, as it may be possible for the money from your mom's estate to be placed in some sort of trust which would help to limit her ability to waste it.
But she is an adult, with the full adult right to be foolish and to make lousy decisions. YOu can advise, but it is HER responsibility to look after herself now, not yours.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/09

Well, if someone would rather be hungry than what they imagine is "low class", that's up to them. But it sounds more as though she expects other people to care for her and feed her, to save her from plunging into "low class " ! I might worry, though, about what she might be doing to support herself, as nobody can live with NO income.
Take legal advice, as it may be possible for the money from your mom's estate to be placed in some sort of trust which would help to limit her ability to waste it.
But she is an adult, with the full adult right to be foolish and to make lousy decisions. YOu can advise, but it is HER responsibility to look after herself now, not yours.

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