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Coping with older siblings

Itís difficult enough being the youngest one in the family without having a huge generation divide between you and everyone else. I was born in Chelmsford, Essex about two years after my family moved over from China.

My family, which consists of five of my sisters and two of my brothers, that is. So Iím a lone voice in a sea of elders, as it were, and it doesnít help when theyíre all very outspoken and very opinionated.

Thereís about three generations in my family: my parents, who are about 70, my brothers and sisters, who range from 27 to 42, and little old me at 17. So what do you expect if youíre my age in 21st century Britain? Some money to buy some clothes, make-up, CDs, obviously CD player would be nice, go out a few times to the cinema or something (obviously not pub as Iím under ageÖ) boyfriend would also be nice, etc. etc.... What does my family expect me to do with my life? Stay in all week and work. Solidly.

"I never wore make-up until I was twenty seven."

"I never got any pocket money, I had to work to help feed the family at your age."

"Boyfriends? Youíre far too young, you shouldnít be thinking about that until youíre at least twenty-two."

Now, I know that it was difficult living in China through the twentieth century, but come on. In an age and society where nine year-olds own mobile phones you still expect me to wear baggy T-shirts and leave my legs to resemble thick bushes?

So all my life Iíve been attempting to re-educate my family in the ways of Western youth. Going out means staying out beyond 9.30pm, a reasonable amount of money is more than 40p, and yes, I do know some lesbians, and no they donít attack me with big sticks and brainwashing equipment every time I see them.

Now theyíre slightly more open-minded. Seeing that Iíve avoided becoming a junkie and have actually managed to get exam grades over Cís has managed to stabilise their belief in Western culture. But for many of you who have to deal with relatives with strong religious or cultural beliefs it can be difficult to convince them to let you live your own life.

Here are a few hints to help you:

  1. Be patient. It will take time for your parents to adapt and get used to the idea of giving you more independence.
  2. Be calm. Turning every discussion into an argument isnít going to help. It will just show them that youíre not mature enough to be given independence yet.
  3. Be ready to compromise. Often the best way is to come to an agreement and then gradually your parents will give you more free rein if you show them youíre responsible.
  4. Donít abuse your freedom. The worst thing to do is stay out until 4am when you were supposed to be in at 11pm. Not only will your parents be worried sick, but theyíll take that freedom away from you and never give it to you again.
  5. Be understanding. Although it may not seem that way, your parents are just doing what theyíre doing because they care. So donít explode if they wonít let you go to that party Ė either come to a compromise or respect their wishes.

Also in Friends and Family...

Check out the Friends and Family links page for links to more help and support

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Friends...
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Friendships...A Survival Guide
Friendship Emergency! - What Can I do?
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Brothers 'n' Sisters...
Do you get on well with your Brother or Sister?
Most of the Time
Never!
I'm an only child!!


 

©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick


©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick


©1999-2003 Pupiline Limited, 2003-2008 Creative Commons. For info email Oli Originally powered by KeConnect Internet, now powered by XCalibre and the Big Boost, recovered thanks to Warrick