My Friend's Sister Needs Help!

Updated on May 24, 2007
H.D. asks from Keller, TX
4 answers

My friend has a 24 yr old sister that lives on her own and has a 3 yr old daughter. Since her sister had her daughter, she really has never stepped up and acted as the parent so her mom is doing it. BTW, she lived with her mother up until a few months ago. Now that she lives on her own she is still dropping her daughter off at her mothers 3 and 4 nights a week which is really starting to confuse the little girl. My question is: Is there any way to make her step up and be a good mother? Are there parenting classes available for struggling mothers or a mother boot camp or something? Her mother and father really hate the idea of taking custody of the little girl but it's almost coming to that point.

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answers from San Antonio on

I disagree on the age thing. I think it's her maturity level, not her age that is at fault for her not "stepping up." I'm 21 and I stay at home with my son everyday. I was in the NICU everyday from 8 am-11 pm until they released him. I dropped my classes because he was getting too sick at daycare and needed to be home so he could develop without complications (he was a preemie). I also have lots of people who would help me if I wanted/needed it. I live with my mom, and she has even offered to keep my son so I can move out and get back to school. I won't do it. He's not her responsibility, he's mine.

I agree though, that if she had no one to turn to she would have no choice but to sink or swim. Hopefully she won't end up neglecting her child, but I think the grandma should be less available because her daughter is obviously expectant of her help. Just make sure that when there is no one available for her to pawn off her children to, that she doesn't leave the child by herself or with shady people.

And if it comes down to the grandparents taking custody, that may be in the best interest of the child. My fiance's mother had that happen. She was 18 when she had my fiance's older sister and their grandma took the baby from her, adopted her, and probably saved her life.



answers from Dallas on

Sounds like she hasn't had to step up because no one is giving her a reason to. She isn't going to fess upto responsibility until she has to stay home and be a mom to these little ones. I think her mom needs to stop taking the kids 3 or 4 nights a week and maybe she will have to stay home some.



answers from Dallas on

I agree with Alesha. WHen you are young, you may not realize how to take responsibility for things until you have too. If she cannot pawn her kids off she will be forced to learn. Sometimes this is the only way. We are having the same problem with my SIL. We have stopped enabeling her but until everyone else does too, she will not grow up. The Grandmother has to stop.



answers from Dallas on


your heart is in the right place, but there is a difference in stepping up to the plate and providing care and being a good mother as I am sure you know with your little man.

We can teach people parenting skills, but the part that comes from within them we can't teach. When a person is bogged down with thier own self worth issues and just the basics of surviving day to day, they really can't see what they are doing to the people around them, even thier own children. Maybe grandma's willingness to step up may be the best thing for this child until mom can sort out her own issues.

This child is lucky in that there is someone to provide that stability in her life. Many children don't have anyone other than the dysfunctional parent trying to cope.

K. @ The Nestingplace

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