18-Year-Old Furious After Mom Calls Her 'Bad Sister' for Studying Abroad

Gillian Sisley

How active should teens be in the raising of their younger siblings?

They say that ‘to raise a child takes a village’, and that's just one example of how difficult it is to be a parent and raise young children into self-sufficient members of society.

Most parents who choose to have a child will have more than one, and it isn't uncommon for older siblings to play an active role in being positive role models for their younger siblings. However, at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the parent to raise their own children, not the responsibility of older siblings.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a teenager wishes to study abroad through her school, but her mother isn't supportive of this because she wants her to be around to help raise her younger brother.

How active should teens be in the raising of their younger siblings?

A Reddit post published on September 15th, reported on by Samantha Berlin from Newsweek, has gone viral with 12,500 upvotes and 1,300 comments

The author begins her posts by explaining that she's 18 years old, and she is the oldest child of her mom. Her mom and dad weren’t together while she was growing up, so she lived with her dad when she was young because her mother was ‘busy with her career’. For that reason, the author's mother wasn't as present as she'd like to have been.

With that said, since then the author's mother has since met her new husband, who treats her like a queen. The two of them decided that they wanted to have a baby, so now the author has a little brother who is 1. There is a 17 year age gap between them, and so she knows that they are not likely to have ‘a normal sibling relationship’.

The author is also enrolled in both college and high school, and has already received her associate's degree since graduating high school. She adds that the college she is transferred to has a study abroad program and that she received a full-ride scholarship for it.

Children eventually become adults and need to make their own decisions.

The author is very excited at the prospect of being able to study abroad. Not only that, but her father and stepfather are both very supportive of this opportunity, however, her mother is not very excited by the idea.

Her mother doesn't think it's such a 'good idea' to study abroad due to the amount of time she would be spending away from home, and thus spending time away from her very young brother. When the author insisted this wasn't a valid reason, her mum shot back that she 'shouldn't want to go abroad anyways' because 'a good sister wouldn't want to leave her little brother'.

This statement really upset the author, and she told her mum that she ‘never asked to be an older sister’, especially not with such a significant age gap. She then added that it wasn't fair for her to 'put her future on hold' just because her mother decided she 'needed to start over again with motherhood'.

What do you think? Was the author's argument valid, and she should absolutely go to study abroad because it's her life and her opportunity? Or does her mother have a valid point in that she should stay at home to help raise her younger sibling, considering he is so young and could use her positive influence?

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