Question: Dear Luise,: Im a 15 yr old girl.. My 2 younger sisters are out of control. Every morning for the past 2 months, my mother and I have been battling them to get up, get dressed, and get to the buss stop on time. I know this doesnt sound bad, but they start school at 7:40.. usually they dont get there till around 8.. There is constint tention in our house. My step father doesnt really help with the diciplin. He mostly gets home and takes a nap… then plays games with my 14 yr old brother.. My mother and I are at a point of desperity. We’re afraid to talk to someone for fear of having my sisters removed from our home and my mother being named an unsuitable parent… If you have any helpful advice or comforting words, please, by all means, email us back. Thank you. C.
Answer: Dear C.: I want you to know, first of all, how impressed I am with the way you are doing your best to help your mom. You’re an amazing and unusual young woman. You and your mom need outside help. Ask your mother to make an appointment at school to ask for their support. Is there a school psychologist? Two youngsters taking over may be great fun for them but they need to be taken into hand. Some serious consequences that they are unwilling to face need to be instituted. They can’t be left to run the household and wear you and your mom out. If your step-dad isn’t going to step up to the plate, so be it, but that doesn’t mean your sisters can continue to get away with this. They can be separated, (one can even be sent to live with a relative,) kept after school, denied privileges…whatever. There’s an answer but you are going to have to be firm and stick to your guns when you set it in motion. They’re just kids. Take your authority back…not with threats but with negative pay-back for negative behavior. What do they most value? Blessings, Luise