So I am not sure if this is the right spot to post this. Please let me know if it isn't! My 18 year old sister, came to live with me a few months ago after our Dad passed away with cancer. We did not grow up together as I am 15 years older than her. Before, my dad passed, he was having trouble getting her to go to school, do chores or simply do anything other than talk on the phone or Skype. Now, that she lives with us she is a Senior in High School. But, I am having trouble with her not doing her work at school. Since she is 18, she has it where she has signed herself in as an adult so I don't have access to her record. I just happened to see a progress report laying in her room on the floor and she has about 40 missing assignments. I went in her room the other day and it is completely filthy; food everywhere, dirty dishes, she has make-up smeared everywhere. She takes no pride in anything. We have a few simple rules in the house for her: go to school, keep your grades up, all food is to be eaten in the kitchen only, and help keep the house clean. But, she can't seem to do any of these things. My husband has had it. He is sick of her not folowing the rules. We have two small children and she isn't setting a very good example for them. I am not sure what to do, it doesn't look like she is going to graduate, she won't get a job, and she won't follw any of our rules. But, she has no place to go; both of our parents our dead and we have no other siblings. My husband is ready to take the kids and go. I am so stressed out. Any advice?
You need some strict boundaries set up and fast. You and your husband need to sit down together with your sister and have a set of rules already drawn up (that you and your husband agree to), that your sister must follow. She must sign the agreement, and adhere to it.
The "rules" should be clear and simple, like:
# 1 - Room must be clear of dirty laundry and trash. # 2 - No eating in bedroom # 3 - Must attend school everyday unless ill # 4 - Must be home by 11pm every night.
Something along those lines...... And if and when the rules are not followed (like 3-strikes you're out) - then you tell her she must find a different place to live - period. No going back and forth, no saying "sorry" and try again. You must be firm and stead fast on your new set of house rules. You could also add (which I think would be healthy for her) to see a therapist once a week. Find a good (preferably female) therapist that works with teens and understands their struggles, especially since she has had such loss in her life.
You need your homelife under control and strong for YOUR 2 small children, they ultimately come first, but I totally understand your love and commitment for your sister, so giving her 1-fair, good shot at staying in your home is loving of you.
Kathellen is right. Your family comes first. Set the boundaries, rules etc. If she won't keep them, take her to the nearest women's shelter if there is no other alternative. Allowing her to make a mess of your family and her own life is not doing her any favors.
Honestly, you need to practice tough love. If she does not want to be appreciative for the home and love that you have shown her, then you need to show her what life is like without it. Maybe that will make her appreciate life more. Although her behavior could be her frustration in the grieving process, that does not give her the right to tear apart and mistreat you and your home. She needs to understand that if she has signed herself up as an adult at school, she can be treated like one as well.
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