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Too strict and too overbearing and not even a parent!

So my younger 2 sisters and brother ( They are 10, 12,13) live with my older brother and his wife (who are 28). Its a long story, our mom is a druggie and ran off with a guy and could care less about us.
I try to help them out as much as I can with my siblings, but I think my brother is too hard on them. They are sometimes a handful, but he is too strict. He took care of me when I was younger too, and he can be overbearing. I want to tell him this, but I don't want to start out a fight either and make more problems. He told my 13 year sis she couldn't go to the movies with this older boy because she was too young, and it was a school night . I offered to let her stay with me tonight, and I told her she could go on this date and that we would just keep it a secret between us.
I want him to lighten up , and I don't think he should be making rules for them as he is not a parent. Should I speak up and what should I say?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:29 PM on May. 13, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (23)
  • Um, 13 is too young to date. And you are setting a horrible example by telling her it is okay to lie to her caregiver.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:31 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • If your older brother has taken on the parenting role then that does make him a parent. Have a 13 year old go to a movie with an older boy on a school night isn't allowed in my house either. If our 14 year old son said he was going to a movie with any girl on a school night the answer is no. Even if it wasn't a school night the answer is still no. 14 is too young to date but that's our view on it.

    Since you aren't the parent I don't think you should say anything. As a parent your views become completely different when you have kids. It's even more stark in truth when the kids are your own. I don't think applying rules to the home is unreasonable. It teaches limits and that's what children need.

    Answer by lilbit022009 at 3:33 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • Thirteen is WAAAYYYY too young for going on a date on any night. Especially a school night. Especially with an older boy. You are doing neither of them any favors by going behind his back like this. Do you really think she is mature enough to NOT say something to him at some point, during some heated argument? No. She's not.
    He IS her parent at this point. He is raising her, trying to guide her into adulthood, trying to teach her to make good decisions. That's what a parent does.

    You have to decide if you are going to help him turn her into a responsible adult or if you are going to keep giving her a way to get what she wants when she comes crying to you.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:34 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • cont'd. If this is how you really feel you're only teaching your younger siblings how not to act. Your oldest brother sounds like he has his head on straight. You should be supportive of how he and your SIL are trying to help raise your younger siblings.

    Answer by lilbit022009 at 3:35 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • I would have to agree with Anon and I don't think that to be a bit to strict is a bad thing in this world today, more kids need parents like that. As long as he is not abusing them then just let it be you will just be causing more problems and making your older brother's job harder. He obviously has custody and if you want to be a positive example then you should stand behind his rules.

    Answer by Tarabella at 3:36 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • I think your brother was right on this one. I wouldn't let a 13 year old go out on a school night with an older boy. You may think he is too strict but now you are teaching your little sister it's ok to lie to get her way

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:39 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • Ditto, Ditto, Ditto to all the above posters!

    Answer by dedicatedrider at 3:39 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • I would not let my almost 13 year old daughter go to a movie with a boy - school night or not. Nothing in your question suggests your brother is too strict to me; what it does suggest is that he is taking his responsibility to your siblings seriously. It actually sounds to me that he is doing a better job of protecting your sibblings than a lot of parents do. Unless he is abusive or unless you are willing to take on the responsibility, then I think you have to let it go. If you don't think your 28 year old brother should be setting the rules, do you seriously think a 13 year old would make better decisions? What you are doing by offering to help her break his rules is very wrong.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:42 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • Dude, I was all set to agree with you, as I find most parents and caregivers to be overly oppressive and destructive to the autonomy of children, but you are thinking like a 13 year old yourself. Going out on a date at 13 is ridiculous. With an older boy, worse. On a schoolnight - awful. Teaching her to sneak around on the person who is responsible for her care... unspeakably irresponsible. She is at high risk for teen pregnancy and drug or alcohol abuse already anyway - you do NOT need to enable her down that path, but support her to reach her potential. Going out on a date at 13 is NOT her potential. You need to be looking out for her, not living vicariously through her. Be there for her, as a sister, as a role model.

    Your brother is the one caring for her; he HAS to be able to keep her safe. You are putting her in danger. Sorry if that's not "cool" or whatever, but if you love her you will support her, NOT sabotage her.

    Answer by Collinsky at 3:43 PM on May. 13, 2009

  • I completely agree with all of the answers above.
    And telling her to keep a lie between you two is totally WRONG!

    Answer by CandleDivaMom at 3:44 PM on May. 13, 2009

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