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My sister is off the rails

I have 2 younger sisters, the youngest of which is 16. I moved back in with my parents for 6 months while I am between houses and she has stolen hundreds of dollars and alcohol from my room when I'm at work and she is skipping school.

She has also stolen money and alcohol from my parents and my other sister.


She was being bullied at an all girls private school so my parents let her change to a public school this year where she has started hanging out with a bad crowd and can get away with not going to school. She is going to fail year 10 and she doesn't seem to care that this is going to affect the rest of her life.


She goes out and gets home at 3am drunk and during the day when we're all at work either her or her friends seem to think it's ok to smoke in the house despite being told not to on numerous occasions.


She doesn't help out with the housework at all anymore, I will often come home and the TV is on, the front door is wide open, there are dirty dishes everywhere and my sister is nowhere to be found. She ruined an entire set of towels when she died her friend's hair in the bathroom and after a week of being asked to clean it up my mum still ended up cleaning the bathroom.


She goes to see a pyscologist but my parents don't think it's doing anything and she refuses to take her medication (I'm not sure what meds they are).


Our family is not all that close but we support each other when it counts. Unfortunately I'm 10 years older than my sister so she won't listen to me, even though I've been through it all before. I was just lucky enough to grow out of it before I ruined my life too much.


My parents have given up because they don't know what else to do and I'm sick of yelling at my sister (I know this doesn't help but I just get so frustrated). Does anyone have any advice?




Re: My sister is off the rails

Hey, @johnthompson ! Thanks for posting. I can relate to how you're feeling. I myself am the second eldest of five kids at my place. It can be challenging at times, I know. And frustrating. I used to let my feelings of frustration be known, too. I'd get up my sister for every instance of laziness and selfishness, etc. But, as you yourself identify, it really doesn't help. My elder sister - no less frustrated than I was - made a far greater impression by adopting a gentler approach. For example, she would ask how things were in the life of my younger sister, her simple expression of interest in our younger sister often enough on its own to effect an enormous change in her behaviour. Again and again my elder sister would find that the behaviour of our younger sister was tied up in other issues. You mention in your post that your sister was a victim of bullying at her old school? And that it was bad enough for her to want to leave? Could that be influencing her behaviour now, do you think?

Re: My sister is off the rails

Hi @johnthompson 


Your younger sister is lucky to have you as her older sibling. She may not see it just yet, but she will one day.


I remember when I was back in high school, year 9 and year 10 was the craziest time ever. It was the time of rebellion and defiance. I went to an all girls school too and my cohort was renowned for having the most trivial lunch time bitch fights. We gave our year advisor the biggest headache and heart ache. Luckily, in year 11, we've got over ourselves. 


Anyway, your sister may just feel she could fit in with the crowd at school because they gave her the strength to stand against the bullies. In hindsight, I've learnt acceptance and belonging takes priority during adolescence.


I guess your role as an older sibling is to show her there is more people who cares for her other than her friends. And let her know you wouldn't expect her to smoke or get drunk to be valued or be accepted in your eyes. Take the time to talk to her. I guess you could start by asking what she did that day after she came home from one her outings. Give it time, she will come around. But be there for her. Make it count Smiley Happy


Good luck and let us know how it goes.