Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Dear Counsellor | My sister is a burden

Published:Tuesday | September 20, 2016 | 9:00 AM

Q: From early in life, my older sister has been a burden to the family. She was attractive and smart but did not have the discipline to study and get good academic results. She has taken this attitude into her adult life. She has a sense of entitlement. She does not have any certification. She tried her hand at buying and selling, but she got burnt. She took orders and some people paid her the money before getting the goods. However, some customers who got goods have not paid. She decided to get out of that business. She has not worked for two years since that incident. Her mother bailed her out, using her lump-sum pension funds. Now we are paying for her and the children's daily expenses because the fathers are not helping. She does not feel that she has to change her lifestyle and claims that she wants the best schools for her children because she does not want what happened to her to happen to them. I have done postgraduate work and I am in a very good job. However, though I am willing to help, I do not feel that I should carry them. My mom is not working and can do very little. Do you think I am correct in my attitude towards my older sister?

A: It is good that you are helping but it is unreasonable for your sister to expect that you will shoulder her financial responsibilities. She cannot expect you to fund her children's education. She needs to cut her lifestyle to suit her means. She needs to be doing some part-time studying, since she has the ability. She also needs to accept even a low-paying job for a while so that she can makes a contribution to the family expenses. She also needs to take the fathers to Family Court in order to force them to live up to their responsibilities.

You have your life to live and need to make wise investment and savings decisions. In addition, your primary concern has to be your mother, who is retired and has used up her lump-sum pension funds.

You need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your older sister. Be respectful but firm. Help her to become independent and learn to live within her means.

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