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Are you your sibling's keeper?

 
Growing up side by side you share everything, but how far into adulthood does the responsibility last?
Masanda Peter
By Masanda Peter
Article originally in Parent24
From an early age some of us are taught the importance of a family unit and how we should be there for each other. A solid family structure is what sustains us as we go through life. I have witnessed situations where this family bond is tested and also where it works out beautifully.

The question is: how far would you go for your siblings in terms of helping them? I have a few situations I can think of to illustrate the highs and lows of this relationship. When people lose their jobs the family unit is most needed and its values tested.

I know of people who went out of their way to help siblings in financial need. Other emphasised that they had their own families to look after and did not have enough to spare.

Some people went to bed hungry even though they have siblings who work and that is quite sad but it’s a reality of life.

People who come from poor families know that as soon as they start working they need to help back at home. There might be a string of siblings one must take through school because you want to give them a better life, or a house to be built because the house back at home is falling apart.

Some have their dreams and plans on hold to help out. They’re not always forced to do all of this, but do it because they see the need.

Supporting an addicted sibling

How about those who are in and out of rehabilitation centres for different addictions and you have been helping them but they do not seem to recover or want to recover? And the ones who spend money recklessly and ask you to help out because they know as siblings you will be filled with pity and help them - especially when there are children involved.

A certain married lady is secretly giving money to her unemployed sister without the knowledge of her husband because he will refuse. That is putting her marriage at risk but she is doing this because of family values she has been brought up with.

I am of the belief that you can never get tired of family but when you assess some situations, it does wear you down. Personally I am all for helping when I can but it depends whether I can. A family member can’t wear the most expensive clothes then come to me asking for grocery money - it’s just not fair.

But, as they say, you can’t choose your family.

Read more by Masanda Peter

Do you help your siblings when in need or is it a case of each man for himself?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
 
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