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My mom told me today that I'm too hard on my brother. My brother is about 26 years old and is in jail. My brother and I have never had a close relationship. We are just very different from each other.

I feel like my mom and sister babys him way too much. They always take care of him. He never finished highschool and he can never keep a job. He does not even know how to drive a car. Now he does have some good qualities but the bad ones are holding him back.

My mom wants me to help him more financially. Should I? I think that is the reason he's in jail now. He's in jail because he did something stupid when he was 18 but he did not get sent to jail immediately. He was put on probation first. The problem is that he would never hold a job long enough to pay his monthly probation fee. He just likes to sit home and drink and smoke out. So, eventually the judge got tired of giving him chances and sent him off. I agree that he was given many chances and screwed up each one.

My mom raised him differently then she raised me and my sisters. She raised us to be very independent and to work hard for our needs. When my brother came along-he's the youngest-she totally spoiled him by letting him do whatever he wanted. She said she always felt sorry for him because he didn't have a father in his life. She feels guilty about that. Personally, I don't think that should have mattered. I think that she should have been harder on him.

Can anyone relate to this?
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Your brother at 26 years old is NOT your problem. He is a grown up man and should be responsible and take the consequences for his own actions. Your mum asking you to help your brother on a financial level with his level of immaturity is unfair to you. Your responsibility is to your children if you have one.

Your brother is the result of the style and nature of your mother's way of raising him. She should see him as the consequence of her previous actions and take responsibility for what he has become, you did not create the problem so why should you pick up the pieces.

All you can do is support and love your brother, no more, no less. You have your own life to live and if your mum loves you she should understand this, support you and respect that. Good luck.

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I think that you should really ask yourself what type of person he really is. Everyone is not going to be the type to go to college or even work a conventional job. Why don't you ask him what it is that he really wants to do in life. Keep in mind that statistics show that by the time a young male has reached between 25 and 30 his deviance usually wears off. Also, ask yourself if you would rather see your brother a lazy bum living at your mother's or never see him again because your family left him to depend own his own wit and the streets (where he would be without you). Don't turn your back on your brother. Keep talking to him and short of bringing yourself down with him, be there when he really needs your help. If you lose your bother permanently to the streets or his negative life style, all the I wish I hads, I should haves will not erase the pain. So many young black males are lost today, try hard as you can without bringing your life down to save your brother; don't give up on him until you know it time to give up--when that time comes you won't have to ask anyone else, you will just know in your heart.
your lil thugged out brother is a spoiled brat...and it would be easy to say heck naw, don't help him......but you don't wanna lose him either. I would suggest having a talk with him, mom, other siblings, probation officer, pastor, uncles, and whoever else will be key in his life present. have him understand that getting his life together is his responsibility but each of you will assist in whatever way possible - with conditions....if he does something impulsive- any help will be discontinued..........this way the ball is in his court. He has the responsibility of doing the things he has agreed to to continue receiving help (i.e., drug treatment, job search, helping mom around the house, paying probation fees, attending church, going back to school, practicing safe sex, etc)

just a suggestion - help him a little, but put the responsibility of maintaining that help squarely on his grown azz shoulders.....
It's tough having a sibling (or sibling-in-law) that is failing in life. On the one hand, you feel, "He's grown. He's on his own." But then again he's family and it's family's job to take care of family.

I think the best that you can do is love and support him. Buy or provide him a meal, pay his lights or rent, or whatever to ensure his security, but DO NOT give him money directly. Also tie your support to his taking care of his business. Good Luck.
Your brother is going to have to bottom out. As long as he feels that someone is going to catch him, he will keep messing up. I know men who are in their 50's and 60's still living with their moms and working once in a while.

Eventually, they bottom out when all of their support dies off and they are living in the street with no one to turn to. Life is not easy, neither is living homeless out in the street. All of the welfare programs are being stretched to the limit.

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Ignorance is Oppression
Key largo, you set us up so much what kind of advice would you expect us to issue other than a slighty varied reitteration of your position.

I have an uncle that is just about a senior citizen now, he too was the last in a long list of children. I was spoiled all of his childhood. And because he was well built physically and handsome, he got that pampering thoughout his adulthood. Because he really didn't know how to properly take care of his self, he didn't financially prepare for his retirement. His adult children got feed up at his ways and kinda let him go. But as a safety net of sorts his sister (the only one left) took him in. His employment always appeared to be just enough to take care of the basics, so once anything out of the ordinary came up he was strapped. But he never went to jail or caused his family major drama.

Do you remember the biblical phase that said "raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it", well apparently your mama messed up big time, she realizes it and now she is calling on the family as the matriach to assist in correcting the FAMILY PROBLEM.

In my opinion, you do your share for your family, if you love your family you do it until it hurts.

In terms of specifics, if you could afford it, take your brother on a trip at least 1000 miles away, have him envision 'starting over' over there. If his is somewhat open to the idea have him look for a job, and housing superficially (just peruse the paper for possibilities). Do the above every two months until he sees something that will attract him to the world of reality.

While he is in jail or in prision, write him weekly. In those writings allow him to take virtual trips to other areas of the US where he could start all over again.

Good luck, and to answer your intro question, "Am I too hard on my brother" my answer is No.

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