My parents have a little more money now than they did when I was growing up, and I’m really happy for them. Unfortunately, two of my younger teenage siblings are still living at home and I have to watch as my parents spoil them rotten. Cars, cellphones, credit cards, all stuff that I didn’t have, and all stuff that they don’t need!
Before you say I’m just jealous (maybe I am a little bit), I’m bringing this up because my siblings are legitimately turning into brats. They don’t have jobs when they are of working age and they don’t seem to value anything other than when they’re going to get their newest trinket. I don't know much about parenting, but I still think I could give my parents some advice. Bad idea?
Dear Big Sis,
Yes, bad idea!
As a general rule, unsolicited advice is the worst, especially unsolicited parenting advice. It doesn’t matter if you're approaching your neighbor, your best friend, your sister, and even your parents, if you’re telling someone how to raise their own kids, and they didn’t ask you for help, they don’t want to hear it.
Whew! OK, now with that out of the way, here are some thoughts that might help curb your frustration:
Most teenagers, regardless of socio-economic status, are or can be brats (no offense teenagers!), but they grow out of it. My little brother is a totally different guy now that he’s 20 than he was when he was 15.
You think you remember what you were like at their age, but you probably don’t. It’s called the “When I was your age I was definitely not like that” syndrome and we all have it to a certain degree. Give them the benefit of the doubt, they will have experiences that teach them important and life changing lessons just like you did. So, there’s no need to panic.
Your example, just like your parents parenting, carries a lot of weight. I learn a lot from my older siblings, and it’s likely that your younger siblings are learning a lot from you. You might be tempted to be all “Ugh, I can’t even talk to you guys!” But even if the money situation hadn’t changed at home, they’d still need the influence of their big sis.
Hope this helps!
Readers: Are your younger siblings different when you go home? How do you keep the relationships strong?
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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about experiences as a young adult member of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints. Twitter: askange_column