web analytics
March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Demanding Family Equity

Respler-011813

Dear Dr. Yael:

Your recent column on “The Wrongs Of Onas Devarim” (Dear Dr. Yael, 12-28-2012) was, for me, the worst column ever. Here’s why:

I am the fifth of six children. I have two older, married sisters with whom I am very close. One of my two older brothers is married; the other is engaged. Then comes me (I am 16), followed by my 12-year-old sister.

As we are chassidish, my siblings married at young ages. Thus, my oldest sister (who is pregnant) is about 24 and has three young children, and my 22-year-old sister has two children. My married brother has one child, while my 18-year-old engaged brother is learning in Israel for a year before returning home to get married.

Now on to the relationship between my younger sister and me. Despite being healthy, smart and very capable, she is so spoiled – my parents do not expect her to do anything. For years, my siblings and I have felt that my parents treat her differently.

A few weeks ago, following our Friday night Shabbos seudah, my mother read aloud your onas devarim column about the girl who is upset about having to do everything because her younger sister calls herself a “schlep.” In the letter she says that her sister – when she wants to go out with her friends – is able to wash the dishes in 10 minutes and get dressed quickly. Other times, every job she is given seems to take her forever to do.

I was very upset by your answer. In the letter from Frustrated and Overwhelmed, the writer never said that she called her sister a schlep; rather, that her sister called herself a schlep. You then talk about her sister’s self-esteem and the issue of onas devarim, somewhat blaming the older sister. To me, however, it was the younger sister who was acting manipulatively, using a “nebach me, the schlep” strategy to get out of doing her work. While your great columns are always on target, this time you missed the point.

My parents loved the column, but my siblings and I were furious. Here’s why:

As my younger sister does whatever it takes not to work, my parents do not assign her any jobs. But I had many jobs when I was 12, including babysitting for her.

The following story will help you understand why I feel our parents spoil my sister: When my brothers were younger, they decided to research the ketones hapasim that Yosef got from Yaakov. We would then figure out a way to sew one for my younger sister for Purim. My older sisters were going to help us.

When my parents heard this, they accused us (including my brothers-in-law and sister-in-law) of always ganging up on our poor younger sister. (We haven’t relayed this story to my brother’s kallah, as we do not want to scare her away.)

I am sick over your column. It has worsened my situation.

Please reread the writer’s letter. Everything the younger sister does is to manipulate things to her advantage. This was not a case of onas devarim, just a spoiled little sister – like my sister – trying to get away with doing nothing around the house. However, in my situation, everyone sees that my parents are to blame for my sister’s behavior – except my parents!

I think the reason they spoil her is because she was born premature and spent a month in the NICU before coming home. My older siblings share this view. But now she is, Baruch Hashem, strong and healthy with many friends. She is a great student (better than me) who writes and speaks well, and is great at sports. In short, she is able to do everything if she is given a chance and makes an effort. For example, if she wants to bake a cake for her friend or for our bubbie, she makes sure it looks professional.

At home though, she is required to do nothing, and sits like a queen while I do all the work. As a “joke” all my siblings say that I am Cinderella. My older sisters feel bad for me and invite me over for Shabbos, telling my mother that they need my help. Then, when I get there, they treat me like a queen, e.g. letting me sleep late, preparing a good bed with the best covers, etc. They even prepare my favorite dishes, as if I was some special princess coming to visit. (My sister-in-law has also done this for me.)

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Demanding Family Equity”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Respler-032015

I believe that Hashem will only bring Moshiach when we finally achieve achdus.

I love my husband dearly and I do everything to make him happy.

Men and women have different roles to play in marriages and as parents.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

She says that they are our children and since she brings in half, or sometimes more than half of our parnassah, we need to be full partners in their chinuch.

I surprise my wife with gifts, large and small.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/demanding-family-equity/2013/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: