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Original Comment:

POLL: Family ties

Friday, December 31, 2010 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: I was 20 years old when I became a mother. I was unmarried with no job skills. With the help of my family I went to a trade school. I got a good job saved money and moved out of my parents home. I created a life for my daughter and I. I will always be grateful for the support my family gave me during those 2 years.

When niece #1 was in a bad situation I invited her to bring her family and live with me while she got back on her feet. It didn't work. It ended badly after 3 years when I realized that She had no intention of getting her own place. She was perfectly happy to have me take care of her.

Now I am watching my sister do the same thing with niece #2. These are not young women they are both close to 30. They have throughout the last 10 years made attempts to make it on their own but have consistently made bad choices and needed to be rescued.

I want to walk away from this situation as I see no help for it. Neither one of these women have any desire to help themselves. The family's attitude is "What about the children". I have at times tried to explain to them that we are not helping them to succeed but enabling them to fail. This always results in me being reminded that it was the family that helped me when I needed it and it is my responsibility to help when it is needed.

My own daughter is a young mother living on her own. It is not easy for her but she does it. Why should I expect less of my siblings children? Am I being judgmental? Should I just continue to help as always? I know if I push this situation I will be breaking family ties
POLL: What should she do?
3% (52) They're family. She has a responsibility to help them no matter what.
25% (391) Cut ties and tell her family to butt out. Enough's enough.
9% (149) Move. Far away.
62% (971) Enlist a third party -- a pastor, counselor, etc -- to intervene and confirm that she has, indeed, done enough to pay back her debt.
1563 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)

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