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What if any influence should a person be on a teen that is not their own child?

I have a little sister... I remember growing up in the situation she is in. Now I am worried for her. I am much older but don't know how much I should try to mentor her. I don't want to undermine her parent's authority. But I feel that they are teaching her to be naive/submissive to male counterparts.

I could be wrong. But I worry that she will end up with an abusive man or simply just run wild as soon as she is out of the house. How/Can I show her to be a confident, independent woman without overstepping my bounds?

FTR I am not being a femanazi. My husband noticed this too. I am a happy sahm and have no regrets about the role I have in my marriage. But I found the right man for this. I worry that this girl isn't being given the tools and knowledge of how to do that. I had people mentor me. But they mentored me too far and I completely rebelled. I don't want either for her!

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:47 PM on Mar. 31, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (7)
  • There is nothing wrong with being a positive influence on someone younger, especially if that person is your sister! She needs good role models from adults. Sometimes it is easier for a teen to connect with someone who isn't a parent and listen to them more. I know my mom could tell my little sister something a million times, but when I tell her the same thing she respects my opinion and listens. She looks up to me and feels that I understand her more since we are closer in age. It could be your parents don't even know that they are not teaching her what she needs. 


    Answer by AnnaMac at 6:10 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • A lot of parents have the "not my child" belief. They think their child is smarter than others and won't get into trouble. Or maybe they think she already knows. It would be a good thing for you to spend time with your little sister and tell her some of the facts of life that you learned from your life experience. As long as you are not teaching her the complete opposite of what your parents tell her there should not be a problem.

    Answer by AnnaMac at 6:10 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • Well... my sd was abusive when I was her age. I don't he is any more but I honestly don't go there. I am quite sure my mom would lie anyway. It's like she is taught/enforced to do all the chores etc. My brother doesn't seem to do anything and she has to take care of him- he's only 2 years younger! I just know how much I rebelled. I worry about her so bad... I worry about her ending up with the wrong man. Maybe I just worry too much :P But she's my baby! LOL I was of course taught to raise her, kwim? If my family lived closer to her I would be much more involved. As of right now my husband is just wanting us to try to get her for the summers or something...

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:25 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • SInce she is you little sister, you can take her out for a day to do fun things. Talk about all kinds of things. If you are low on money, have a slumber party w/ her. Tell her you are worried about your friend who is living the life you are afraid she will have and say something like, Please don't let a man treat you that way. Add, will you let me tell you if I see a man treating you that way? This is how I would approach it w/ out being an over the top obvious influence.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 6:40 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • BTW, your hubby seems very wonderful.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 6:41 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • I am 37 and have a just turned 18 year old sister and a 15 year old brother, My kids have aunts and uncles the same age as them.

    Whenever my sister acted out (which was at least a few times a year if not more) my mom would set me on her butt ( I live in a defferent state). I treat her similarly to my own, but with one big difference....I am the sister so threatning her was ok :). I see nothing wrong with being a role model in thier lives, we have an advantage of wisdom without being the parents. It's a nice to place to be. If you feel you have expierience that could benefit her then use them, just don't push it on her, no kid likes that.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 6:56 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • I have step siblings who are much younger than me too and one of my step sisters was me but like 10 times worse so when I started seeing her get out of control I talked to her. I also had the advantage that DH's nephews were some of her party buddies and told me things so I went to her and basically verbally bytch slapped her! My stepmom was pissed until the behavior changed so I understand not wanting to overstep your role, but in the long run if it is for the good of your sis you should invite her for the summer tell your parents you could use her help and they deserve the break or something. Spending time together things will come up to discuss with her and she will see you and DH interacting in a positive way. Part of keeping trust with my little sisters was that I told them unless there was a serious danger I would never "tattle" on them but I did a few times tell my dad to keep an eye out for XYZ to sort of clue him in.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 7:18 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

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