Raising my sister's 7 year old- Help!

Ariel - posted on 07/22/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )

40

0

7

Hi Moms!
I'm Ariel, 21 years old, still trying to get my degree, working part time, and now raising my sister's 7 year old. I've been helping my parents take care of her for the last year, but I know it's my job to step up and do more. I know how to "take care" of her, but I'm struggling on how to really raise her. I know I'm young and there's plenty of things I'll need to be ready before I can really take her completely on my own. For a little insight my sister is older, and just doesn't want to raise her kid, she'd rather be with her abusive boyfriend. The father sees her maybe once a month and is always trying to move to another state. My grandparents attempt to help, but they keep trying to force my sister to be "the mom", and let my niece be a brat when she's with them. (If y'all have any advice on that front I would REALLY appreciate it) My parents kept her a year before I came back from college, but they're really just too old. They care for her, but they have no motivation to really spend time and work with her. She's a good kid but, like any kid, she has her issues. I know raising her and taking her is the right thing for her, but I'm so lost right now. And it's hard jumping straight into this role, without starting her as a baby. I know this post got pretty long.. Sorry for that. I'm a writer!

2 Comments

View replies by

Ariel - posted on 07/22/2015

40

0

7

Thank you for your kind words, and your help! She is definitely one of those that will get away with anything she thinks she can- though I know most kids are! Thanks for the advice, I will work on being as consistent as possible. I do believe that children will meet whatever expectations we have for them- as long as they're clearly aware of what those expectations are.

Raye - posted on 07/22/2015

3,761

0

21

It is not your "job" to take care of your niece. It's her biological parent's job to care for her and raise her, but they are failing her. You're going above and beyond to even consider taking the girl in. You're going to have a long difficult road ahead of you.

To do it the right way, you would need to get guardianship/custody through the courts. That way you have legal authority to speak for her regarding medical issues, school, etc. The father should be on the hook for child support, but I'm not sure how/if that would transfer over to you. You may want to consult with a lawyer to know what the laws are in your area and help guide you through the court process.

Once you have legal guardianship of her, then you can take her into your home. You need to establish house rules and think of what consequences might be appropriate for breaking those rules. At 7 y/o she's old enough to help out and keep areas straightened up. You need to be firm and consistent with rules and consequences. If you cave in even once, she will know that you will break given enough pressure, and she'll keep applying that pressure. It's not a negotiation. You're the boss. That's not to say that you can't listen to her and make decisions or even change your mind once you get additional information, but she has to know that the decision is still up to you.

There's so much more than I can explain here, but maybe others will jump in with more advice.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms