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little sis shipped off to the grandparents: good or bad?

March 25th, 2009 at 01:17 am

My mum & her partner are sending my sister (14yo) to live with my grandparents, two states away, on a rural, almost self-sufficient farm. She will still go to a larger school in a CBD - so she will have contact with society lol.
I am in two minds about this. Here's why:
The good part: my sister has a bit of an 'attitude' and I don't think she hangs with the best kids at school. Living with our grandparents will give her some freedom but also teach her to be more respectful. She'll be learning a very different lifestyle, as currently she lives in a coastal suburb on a 500m2 block - as opposed to many many acres of bushland she will have to explore living with the gramps. She'll also learn to be more useful as she'll have to learn to do 'stuff' on a farm. She will also be able to get away from my mum. I know that sounds terrible, but our mum is an alcoholic but won't do anything about it, and thinks everyone else has a problem with her drinking. I think my sis is actually excited about the fact she won't have to deal with mum anymore.
The bad part: She is, technically, being shipped off. I am going to have to make sure I show her she is not forgotten, and that she is loved. I will have to send her letters and little packages all the time so she does not feel abandoned - as I am sure that my mum will forget about her. Yes, terrible. (and I don't mind in the SLIGHTEST about the $ it will cost me to send this stuff - she is my little sis and I would give everything to protect & help her). She may be a bit isolated there seeing as it is miles from other people - and then the other people would be farmers anyway. Also, I can't help but wonder, what happens if her attitude doesn't get better? Or what happens if she falls in with the wrong crowd there? The gramps aren't going to notice as much as DF and I would (I see her at least once a week at the moment). What if she goes and gets herself PREGNANT or something? ARGH! Anyway. My main concern is that she will feel abandoned and shipped off. I keep talking to her and just mentioned her 'getting away' from mum, so that she feels good about that prospect. Am I doing the right thing? Is it a good idea to put it in a positive light?

At the moment it appears to be just a year-long arrangement. My sis mentioned she hopes she can come back for years 11 and 12 (she is in year 9 now).

*sigh* I just don't know.
She doesn't seem particularly upset about the prospect as the moment. The only thing she is a little upset about is that she just made friends with some people, as last year wasn't that great for her in terms of making friends.

Looking back, I didn't change schools in high school - but then again the friends I made at high school I no longer talk to anyway, they were all not particularly nice to me anyway - only it took me until the last few years to realise it!

The thing that our parents don't seem to get is that SHE IS A TEENAGER. Our parents seem to have this idea in their heads that kids have to perfect all the time. We all got in trouble for the littlest things. And then we would get lectured for HOURS (literally...hours) about it, and by the end of the lecture you would have no idea what the problem was in the first place because they would go off in tangents and talk in riddles all the time.

Which is why I do think a tiny bit of this change for little sis would be good. Good for HER and her wellbeing.

And then there is my little brother. He is 15 and can basically look after himself - doesn't seem to give the parents as much trouble as little sis. He plays video games and is pretty introverted - but does have a large group of friends. He isn't causing any 'problems' so of course he is not getting shipped off - also he just goes into his room when mum decides to have a bit of a drink, or disappears.

Anyway. Whenever there seems to be a problem with my mum - like her drinking, or smoking, or how much work she does at the business (not a lot these days), all of a sudden there seems to be some big issue with something else, so then everyone focuses on THAT problem, and then mum doesn't have to do any of the things she says she will (like, go to counselling etc).

ARGH.
Anyway, sorry for the rant.

5 Responses to “little sis shipped off to the grandparents: good or bad?”

  1. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    mmmm.... so hard to advise when one doesn't know any of the parties involved....

    in fact... I'm not going to coz there are so many aspects to this and potential outcomes that I don't think I can offer you anything you don't already know...

    BUT your concern for your sis is very touching and hope you manage to keep your bond with her whatever happens....

  2. momcents Says:


    I'm sorry about the situation. Maybe this is the best thing for your sister - having the structure that your grandparents can provide. She is lucky to have you as a sister! I bet it will all work out for the best.

  3. L Saver Says:

    I agree with momcents -- it seems like your sister (and brother) are very lucky to have you looking out for them.

  4. Petunia Says:

    It sounds like it could be a good change for your sister. Kudos to you for taking the initiative to stay connected to her.

  5. north georgia gal Says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this! Seems like you have a strong grip on what your mom is really like! You just need to help your younger siblings reach that understanding! That is easier said than done, but it seems that you have a good idea on how to start!

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