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My Sister Is Having A Really Hard Time

by Simone
(United States)

Hi. I hope you can help me. I am 14 and my little sister is 10. She has had some anger problems for a long time, but in the past year or so they've really spiked up.

So my mom's side of the family is not in perfect mental health, and my sister inherited some of it. She has trouble when she is asked to do a task and she sort of shuts down. Me and her have been homeschooled for all of our lives, but one day my mom decided that it was too hard to teach her.

If my sister got confused or something, she would get upset, and she might start screaming or throwing a tantrum. It never gets physical, but it's very stressful.

As of September she's been going to school, but we have a hard time getting her there. I'm usually in bed when this happens, but for some reason, she gets upset, and she ends up screaming, and my mom who's trying to deal with this ends up crying, my dad ends up yelling, and I lay in my room and wonder how to help.

Sometimes she'll argue with me, and I admittedly sometimes set her off, but a lot of the time there's no reason for anger. This is very stressful, especially for our mother, who sometimes gets sad for no reason. And after one of the fights about school, she just stays in her room for most of the day.

I think the main issue here is that my sister is too dependent on our mom. She always ends up missing her, and she gets homesick. Sleepovers are rarely an issue though.

But after an outburst my sister has a hard time doing anything else. We've tried a lot of things, and even though my mom doesn't want me to worry about it, I can't really ignore it.

Can someone please help me? I'm a bit concerned about how this is affecting my mom.

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Mar 10, 2018
Thanks For Clarifying
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Simone

I took the part about Reyes out of your story. Thanks for letting me know.

I'm glad you're going to try to focus on yourself and trust your sister and parents to sort things out for themselves. I really think that's your best strategy.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Mar 09, 2018
by: Simone

Thank you. I'll try. (Also there was a typo, I don't know what I was trying to type when I said "Reyes". Auto correct got in the way). Thank you again, I'll try my best to focus on myself.

Mar 08, 2018
Some Support For You
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Simone - I'm so sorry you're having this trouble in your home. This is a lot for a 14 year old girl to deal with, but as you said, it's your family and you kind of have to deal with it.

From what you've written, it seems clear that your mom is having as much trouble as your sister, and that shifts some responsibility to you...even though it's not really your job to fix this. It' your parents' job to help your sister, but it sounds like they're having a lot of trouble with that.

I know this might sound strange to you, but I'm going to recommend that you focus on your own school work, your own friends, and your own life. I know you can't ignore what's going on with your sister and your family, but it's important that you don't get too involved in trying to solve these problems.

If you get too involved, you'll become part of the problem, and then you won't be helping, you'll actually be making things worse for yourself and your family.

On the other hand, if you make up your mind to focus on your own life, your own happiness and your success in school, that is something you definitely can control and have some success with.

The sad fact is that you really can't help your sister or your mom...except by doing what I'm recommending. The only people in your family that can really do anything to help your sister are your parents. They are the adults, and the parents, and it is their job...not yours.

I can tell you're a smart girl, Simone. Take good care of yourself and do your best to create a good life for yourself. You can do that. You've got what it takes.

Trust your sister and your parents to figure things out in their own way, in their own time.

I hope this helps.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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