Posted by: GKS | 2008/08/12

Fedup with niece

Hi, bit long but pls bear with me .......................

late last year we invited my huby' s niece to come stay with us. she was having problems with her mom and we thought a change of environment wil be good for her. we have been having one problem after the other with her and we now at our wits end and thinking of sending her back home. here' s the strory

she is now 23yrs old. she matriculated at 16 but her results were not good enough for her to do medicine ( has always said she want to be a dr) so the plan was for her to try again and upgrade her marks so that she could go to meds school.

she failed the upgrade dismally and the idea of meds school went out of the window. during this time of the upgrade, her mom also went back to school and had to move to another province where she stayed for 3yrs. the niece stayed at home with the dad and we all thought that she had too much " freedom"  with the mom being away and all and did not focus on her studies hence her poor results.

It was decided that she go stay with the granny were she should be properly supervised and was enrolled at the university there to do some science course. despite all the supervision, love and encouragement, etc she also performed badly and failed most of her courses two years in a row.she was also not happy staying with the granny apparently becase the granny was " strict" 

anyway, the mom returned and the niece went back home and enrolled with Unisa and once again she failed most of the courses. this meant that she had wasted 4 years already and had nothing to show since she matriculated. everyone in family was frustrated by the lack of progress in her life. This was even worse for the parents but more so for the mom who is very vocal and would often shout at the niece for not pulling up her socks, etc.this is when we asked her to come to over to us.

we had a meeting and explained our expectations etc and told her to feel free and that we there to help her achieve her dreams, which she said was to be a pycologist. all we asked was that she work hard and padd her studies. she continued with Unisa (part time) and we managed to get her a job with a friend of ours. the plan was that she must still focus on her studies but use the job as a means of earning pocket money. To learn some responsibility we asked her to contribute R500 towrds her upkeep which was not a problem since she was eraning enough money.

things did not turn out as planned. the studies were forgotten and assignments were not done. the thing is when we asked her how things were going with the studies she would always say everything was fine but we never saw her studying. we had to call unisa to find out that she has not submitted.

when we ask she says cause she was busy at work( true the job was demanding) but we expected her to tell us when she was having problems so that we could help her. we told her since job is inteferring with studies she would have to stop working but she begged and said she enjoy the work and it was keeping her busy during the day and she did not want to be bored at home. she once gain said her studies we important to her and she promised to change and give them her focus. we spoke to our friend (the boss) and negotiated some time off for her to be able to go to library during the day to study.

At the same time when it was month end and it was time for her to give us the R500, the money would not come and she would just keep quiet and when we aks she would give some lously excuse why she cant pay, etc. we spoke to her nicely and once gain asked her to "  talk "  to us and tell us when she had issues so that we could help her and not to just keep quiet about things.promises were made.

with the assigments that were still due we pushed her to make sure that they are done and submitted. once again since the last assignment we have not seen her studying and we once again concerned that she is reverting to old habits.

At the same time we had agreed with her boss that the niece will stop working end of August so that she could focus on the upcoming exams in Oct &  nov. all along there we complains at work about her perfomance but lately things got worse with acusations of some money missing etc and the boss decided to let her go sooner rather than end of the month but asked that she come in one day to sit with the accountant to explain the missing money and other outstanding issues.

the niece did not tell us that the job is over, we know because the boss is our friend and she told us and explained why she is letting her go sooner. so once gain the niece is keeping quiet about things and we also decided not say anything and see where this will lead to.

due to the missing money her boss decided to pay half her salary and keep the rest until the issue is finalised.the latest bombshell is that she is refusing to go and account for the missing money and told her boss that we ( my husband &  I) said she should not go back until she is given the money that she is owed. this is a blatant lie and almost caused a rift between us and the friend but we managed to sort things out.

now this is not the first time she lies and it seems like she is incapable of being honest and ur patience is running thin. we honestly dont know what to do with her. her tendencies to keep quiet about things (not telling us about the problems she has at work, missing money and the fact that she was fired) is worrying. we have not spoken to her about all this as we cant seem to understand her. she spend most of her time alone in her room and we concerned that she may be depressed and might just suicidal hence our reluctance to speak to her about the latest developments.

we brought her over to help her but she is not allowing us to do this. my husband and I are busy executives and get home late and only have time to tend to our young kids and do not really have the time to babysit her also especially since she is old enough at 23 to take responsibility for her life. we have spoken and pleaded with her in the past but is seems like nothing helps and we seriously thinking of sending her back home ( which wont help either).

what are we doing wrong and how do we help her?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like it would be a good idea to send her home --- its raely wise tom issue such invitations open-ended, rather than inviting someone to stay for a week, or a month. THat way, its not a Big Deal to remindthem of when they are leaving.
Apparently she has been given many chances to study and succeed, but has never bothered to take advantage of them. She also may have then formed the view that its up to other people to cope for her and care for her. She is exploiting everyone who has tried to help her, and may have been stealing from her kind boss and from you ( in not paying towards her keep as agreed ). She has been lying. And by suggesting she may be depressed she ios frightening you all from demanding answers to the questions where she owes you anwsers, and manipulating you into continuing to keep her. If she is depressed, she has the responsibility to see a doctor or counsellor ( this is even provided on campus ) and take care of herself.
So long as you keep taking responsibility for her, she will never take responsibility for herself. Nothing you have tried helps, becausde it has been YOU trying it and doing it, and not her. Tell the lazy girl to go home and sort out her own life, and care for yourselves and your own children.
Try searching the web and reading up about Tough Love.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.