Older Brother's Authority



Older Brother's Authority

I need some opinions here. My dad doesn't live with us, and my mom isn't very strict, so not a lot gets done around here. People assume others are going to do chores so don't care to ask or take it upon themselves. I'm feeling the need to slip out of my role of being like a child and claim authority as the man of the house and demand respect and obedience from my little brother and sister since I'm the oldest in the house besides my mom, and order and authority left with my dad. I think that way, I'll be changed in a way that will make me be more productive too - you know - because I'll feel I have some honor and responsibility.


I guess to initiate it I could start by taking things on myself and when they see that I'm doing everything, they may even start to help too, or at least not argue when I ask them to do something.

My sister, however stays in the basement and doesn't see or care what's going on.
Mark, Setting yourself as an example is definitely a way to approach your issue, and hopefully everyone will take notice and join in and make things better for you all.

I know it is a lot of responsibility but I admire you for taking the reigns and attempting to better things for you and your family. It takes a very special person to step up to the plate, especially one your age.
Personally, I would suggest that as an older brother you find ways to BE an older brother and a positive influence, without stepping into the authority figure/ parent role. There are ways that you can influence good behavior, and inspire the little ones to do chores -- as a brother, not a surrogate father. You are not their father and you are not their mother either. To suddenly take on that type of role could cause resentment, other negative feelings, and negative behaviors from the younger ones. Regardless of how uninvolved your parents may be, it is still not your responsibility to become the parent.

Being a single mother is not easy. Your mom may be feeling overwhelmed by having to be both mom and dad. Chores may be something that she doesn't have time or energy for. Try talking to your mom about some of the problems. Talk about the chores and offer to help her come up with solutions on how to inspire the little ones to do theirs. Ask her if there is something that you can do that would help her out, such as taking the littles ones to the park on Saturday mornings so that she can have a day to sleep in, or offering to drive them to one of their activities, or helping them with their bedtime routines.
Hey Mark,

First, let me state that my heart is heavy knowing how frustrated you must be. Your desire to have male authority to help your mom and get the chores done is not a bad desire.

I suggest you find ways to "bless" your mom and siblings. Tell your mom that you would love to help get the chores done and ask her to please do two things for you. First, ask her if she could she make a list of chores and who is responsible for those chores. She would need to share the list with your siblings. Next, ask your mom to provide an incentive, to be able to bless your siblings with when they do the chores. After having worked with families for 20 years I have found that each family member will respond to different incentives. Hopefully she will not come up with "money" but will know something that your brother and sister would enjoy and respond well to and would "want."

A quick word about "authority." Those in authority are responsible for others. They "serve" others. Pray and ask the Lord how you can serve your brother, sister and mother. Begin to serve them by helping them in creative ways to succeed at doing their chores.

May God bless your richly in this endeavor.

My dear Brother Mark_18
I feel for you in your situation, I really do. The advice you have been given so far is wonderful.
As a solo parent myself; not by choice I might add, I know how hard it is taking on the roles of both Mom and Daddy and it's a role that is both challenging and exhausting. I know I wouldn't cope without my young ones not having assigned duties to do each evening after school and they work towards their chosen rewards; which they recieve at the end of each week.
Outside help is paramount when parenting alone, though not alone when family and friends support and uplift you.
Maybe that is the key for you and your Mom. Please know your not in this situation alone for you know you have the Lord as you strenght and guide.
Your Sis in Christ Jesus, Autumn_angel65
Hey Mark,

I totally agree with what everyone else is saying above.

The only thing I would say as advice, would be to really sit down with your mom and talk about things. You have to realize that she is struggling at the same time that you are. It may be different things she is struggling with, but both of you guys can really help each other out at this time.

I'm encouraged by your thoughts and actions, I really am. Not too many kids your age would even care about the situation. I'm encouraged by you.
Hey Mark, I just wanted to let you know you rock. Caring about your family is great, trust in the Lord, lead by example, pray with your siblings if possible, if they don't want to just be yourself, show them where your trust is. Always be quick to give hugs and be super positive with them.

If your home is chaos get help.

I droped the ball as an older brother, but I'm making up for it now!



If I were you, I would first talk to my siblings - not to tell them what they should do, that won't work, but to share how you feel about all of you not helping your mom.

Then tell them what you plan to do and ask them if they will support your mom and the family as a whole by helping, too.

Whether they agree or not, accept what they say by letting them know in one sentence you are either pleased or disappointed.

Then do what you said you would do.

One who said he would not help may start when he sees your example, but be prepared that one who says he will help may not.

Good luck and God bless.