Saturday, June 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Support of 'problem child' troubles sibling

Support of 'problem child' troubles sibling

Q: My sibling, a "problem child" since childhood, is still dealing with a lot of issues — drug addiction, joblessness, mooching off my parents, etc. When I visited my parents a few months ago, my mother brought up my canceling a visit last year; I refused to go because she had, for the umpteenth time, let my sibling move in, who then began doing drugs again. She said I shouldn't be "meddling in her business" and that how she handles my sibling's issues has nothing to do with me.

As she's gotten older, she's gotten more unreasonable about anyone voicing opposition to her insistence on continuing to support my sibling, despite the fact that her efforts have done no good. I've worked on resolving my feelings with therapy, and know that I can't change her, and can only change how I react to her. What would you advise for talking this out?

Revisiting Old Wound with Mom

A: I would advise not talking this out.

Make peace with it, sure. Set a boundary. Develop a strategy for not reacting. Find a way to understand your mom better so you can respond to her better. Those are all goals for you. To resolve this or talk this "out," though, your mom would have to at least see your point of view, yes?

I suggest limiting your goal to having an honest, productive response to your mom's accusations — one that accurately represents your views.

To start: Agree with her in a limited and highly specific way. "You're right, Mom. I shouldn't be meddling in your business, and how you handle Sib's issues has nothing to do with me." Because she's right. You shouldn't and it doesn't.

And then: "Likewise, how I deal with the situation is my business, including whether I cancel my plans to visit."

Think of it as putting your oxygen mask on first. You can't help if you're not healthy yourself, and that means "opposition to her insistence on continuing to support my sibling" isn't an act of correction, but of conscience. It's an outcome unto itself.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Dad despairs at state of gender relations

Q: Day after day, we have new news of a famous man who has done unspeakably stupid and offensive things to women ... for decades. Society is, somewhat belatedly, starting to take these accusations seriously.But change is needed at the opposite end of...
Published: 06/22/18

Tell Me About It: Future in-laws are insisting on an open bar

Q: My fiance and I are getting married in my family’s hometown and my parents are hosting (and paying for) the wedding. My family are minimal drinkers. My fiance’s large extended family is accustomed to weddings with full open bars.My parents’ initia...
Published: 06/21/18
Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Plan your weekend: St. Pete Pride, Hall and Oates, Pixies, Logic, comics Jay Pharoah and Bobby Bones

Rainbow connection Pride weekend: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend in St. Petersburg, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coc...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanIt’s been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But he’s about to make up for lost time. On Saturday he’ll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Published: 06/20/18
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you can’t get anything to thrive in Florida’s brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18

Tell Me About It: Wife punished after being victimized

Q: At a work happy hour, a male co-worker groped me. He later "apologized" with the qualification that I had been sending him mixed signals.I’m married, he has met my husband, I’ve never led him on. And when it happened I was incredibly clear that it...
Published: 06/20/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Pride weekend kicks off in St. Petersburg Friday with a free concert hosted by a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, a parade along the downtown waterfront on Saturday and an expanded expo of vendors and art on Sunday in the Grand Central District that ga...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Mom/daughter dynamic feels controlling

Q: I am afraid I may be a controlling mom of my young adult daughter, but we have a dynamic in which she seeks me out often, solicits my advice, and makes me too important in her life. I admit to offering that advice because it is hard for me to draw...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Regretting staying too long in bad romance

Q: I recently broke up with someone after two years. Even though there were things that bothered me while we were together, I would convince myself I was overreacting, he didn’t really mean it, etc.Now that it’s over, I feel like a fool for not havin...
Published: 06/18/18