How to handle a parentified sibling

fk asks: I am a 16-year-old girl. My sister whom I live with found me with my boyfriend. I wasn’t doing anything wrong with him, but ever since, I think she hates me. She scolds me whenever I ask for permission to go out. I apologized, but she couldn’t accept my apologies. What am I to do?

Hi fk –


I guess I’m a little confused.  What was your sister mad about?  Did she not know you had a boyfriend?  Or is it that you don’t think you were doing anything wrong, but she did?


Either way, the odds are that she doesn’t hate you.  It sounds from your letter like your sister is trying to act as your parent.  And that’s really hard for a sibling to do.  Most likely she’s working extra-hard to be responsible, and thereby is being stricter than an actual parent would be.  She’s probably scared that, if she’s not this tough on you, you and your boyfriend would start doing things that she can’t allow.  So while what she’s doing may look like hate, it’s probably actually love!


So I think it’s time for you and her to have a serious talk.  Find a time that you two can sit down together, and explain to her exactly what it is that you want.  Tell her what rules you have about what you and your boyfriend can and can’t do, and promise her you’ll follow them.  Your job is to show her how responsible you are, and get her to feel she can trust you.  (Then once you do that, your next job is to stick by what you’ve said – so don’t say anything you don’t really mean!).


Now fk, I may be misunderstanding a lot (I’m only a dog after all!).  But if I have this right, I think that conversation is going to be the best thing you can do.  And if she says it’s not enough, and she still can’t let you go out, then I’d ask her how long it’s going to be before she is willing.  I’m pretty sure she’ll be too embarrassed to say something like “Till you’re eighteen,” and so even just asking that question should show her that she’s being too tough on you.


Be kind to her, it sounds like she’s working hard.   But at the same time…


Good Luck!


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Anonymous - October 7, 2011 Reply

fk,she is your sis.she luvs u too much that`s why she is doing like this.she knows the condition nd situation of the country that`s y.
i think if she is saying to you to stay in home then definitely u stay there.orite every thing will be fine.

poproxy360 - April 6, 2014 Reply

To me it sounds like your sister is protecting you from a heartbreak. Maybe she had a big one that broke her heart and she does not want the same to happen to you because she loves you so much. But you need to show her that (to me boys are gross so I can’t believe I am saying this) not all boys are like that. So have a private talk with her – like they say, “agree to disagree” – and come to a settlement you both accept.

-best luck,poproxy360

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