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what is the best thing I can do to help my sister? - August 19th 2010, 11:46 PM

I want to start off by saying I do not condone my sister's lifestyle at all. I have told her this plenty of times, but she doesn't listen. I still love her though and I'm not going to ruin our relationship by harping on her over and over again.

My sister is 26 and has been on welfare since she was 18. She dropped out of school in grade 9 and has never gone back. She has had the odd job but far and few between. Her boyfriend doesn't work either. They stay at home and smoke lots of weed.

They are very irresponsible with the money they do get from welfare, and often run out of food before their next cheque. They go to food banks and stuff, but they live in a small town so there aren't a lot of resources. My sister is now 2 months pregnant and keeping the baby. She doesn't have any food and has been unable to get any. She talked about trying to collect bottles so she could buy food, but she said she's been too nauseas to do so for very long, and her boyfriend refuses. The doctor has also put her on bedrest because of two previous miscarriages she has had, so she shouldn't be doing anything like that anyway.

I feel awful for my sister. When she phoned I was crying at the image of her out there trying to scrounge up cans and bottles. My gut reaction is to go buy a bunch of food and take it out to her. The problem is they do this all the time. My mom has stopped giving her food for quite awhile now, and says I shouldn't give her any either otherwise she'll never learn how to budget her money. This has been going on for a long time now though and she still hasn't learned. And what about my niece or nephew to-be? I don't want them to suffer because I'm teaching my sister a lesson I doubt she'll ever learn. The other problem though is that I have a little tiny bit of money now to do this, but I probably won't next month. I don't want her to expect it or that will cause problems.

Should I take her food or not? Is there anything else I can do?


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Re: what is the best thing I can do to help my sister? - August 21st 2010, 10:35 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure what I would do in your position. On one hand, I wouldn't want to give her a dime. Almost everyone on my dad's side of the family did something similar to what your sister did... only they got pregnant as soon as they could (13/14 years old). They live in Kentucky, which is one of the poorest states in the nation... and I feel like they're just demonstrating WHY the state has such a low mean income. They're lazy and won't do squat to help themselves. I think they enjoy it, to be honest... they get to stay home all day and never, EVER have to "grow up".

On the other hand... your future nephew/niece didn't do anything to deserve his/her fate. It doesn't seem right to punish an unborn child for the lazy, irresponsible lifestyle that your sister has chosen to lead. Not only will your sister need food in order to keep her baby healthy, but she'll need support to quit smoking weed (so that the baby won't suffer any negative side effects).

I don't know what Canada offers... but in the United States, there ARE certain measures you can take to have a pregnant woman "incarcerated". This is usually done when someone is concerned that the mother will do something to harm the child, like drink excessively or purposely hurt herself to hurt the baby. Your sister would be monitored and given regular meals... so at least that's better than what she has going for her at the moment. You could also attempt to enforce mandatory counseling while she's detained. I'm not a legal expert, so it really may be best to consult a family law attorney and find out what all your possible options are.

I wish you all the best of luck. <3 This is by no means an easy situation, and my heart truly goes out to you and the rest of your family.





   
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Re: what is the best thing I can do to help my sister? - August 21st 2010, 10:36 PM

Hi there.

It's been a few days since you've posted this - have you come to any groundbreaking discoveries in life about what to do or anything? (: I must say, I do see where your mother is coming from. As hard as it is for you to watch your sister struggle through life, imagine how hard it is for your mom and dad to do so as well. It's their daughter, and the baby would be their granddaughter or grandson, so it can't be easy for them to just sit back and let your sister and her husband struggle, but perhaps it really is time for her to start learning to be an adult and take care of herself.

I don't think I can make this call for you. I know if it were my sister, who's four years younger than me, I'd almost feel obligated to go take care of her. ...but yet, I'm also a huge fan of the idea of letting people learn from their mistakes - the problem here, though, is that there's another life at stake, which complicates the situation.

Have you talked it ALL over with your parents? Have you talked to them about potentially helping her budget her money or giving her suggestions on exactly what to spend it on? She may not listen, but I guess it's worth a try.

Good luck with everything!



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