Was I too harsh on her?

@daDaize (215)
Austria
January 21, 2012 1:22pm CST
Hello Mylotters, So I gave my niece a Debut party, I sponsored the whole thing alone (I'm not parent - her parents are too poor for that) but I gave her a condition not to bring her boyfriend there. He wasn't introduced yet to her parents and he is kinda a bad influence on her. I basically gave her a choice between School (Lyceum) and Boyfriend...she decided on Boyfriend, so I said ok I will still give you the Debut BUT I will leave and you will not be able to attend school anymore. She argued with me, saying that shes not doing anything risky (even tho her facebook pictures say something else)with him and she will not fall pregnant,etc... Anyways, I gave her a choice, I made it clear that she shouldn't bring her boyfriend so now because she decided on Boyfriend over Studies I decided to leave/stop supporting her. It hurts tho cuz I actually loved my niece very much, I jst didn't like the fact that she was focusing too much on her boyfriend.It also hurts to know that she can't attend her schooling anymore.But it's necessary that I do this so she learns of the consequences of her decision. She never had respect or care at all for me.... So now my question...did I do the right thing? Was I being to harsh? Overreact?What are your opinions?I'm open to all critisim as I'm still a newbie in the "supporting" field...I don't even have obligation since I'm only half filipino and I saw her only 3 times in my life (but it was enough for me to love her)...so please..any advice,opinions,etc?
5 responses
@TheAdvocate (2395)
• Philippines
24 Jan 12
I am kinda in the same situation as you, I help some relatives too, every now and then. I can share some insights with you and hope that it can help you. I understand how you feel invested in your niece's future because you are helping her out and she seems to take your feelings for granted. Money does not grow on trees (as I keep telling my mother) nor am I an ATM machine. So every time you give, you want the gift to matter. On the other hand, I believe that giving is an unconditional act. I do not want to be like a bank who will lend only under certain conditions, which feels so impersonal and cold. I have had relatives who will ask for money from us telling us that they want to start a business and then turn around and use the money we give them to gamble. It hurts because I work hard for that money and they don't seem to appreciate how hard it is to make legitimate money. On the other hand, it seems so heartless if I leave them by themselves as they usually beg for food on the table from various relatives. Either way is just frustrating. So what I do is buy what they want myself or pay for what they need directly and then let them do the rest. If I were in your situation, I would probably not have thrown the party for her, paid for the tuition myself and then let her decide. All I can do is open doors for her, but she has to take the steps to enter the place. A few years back, we faced the same situation with my brother. He was head over heels in love with a girl who did not care about her education. He missed classes because the girl demanded that he stay with her and not go to class. I wanted to bop him over the head to wake him up. But I resisted the urge and just paid his tuition and let him do the rest. Happily, after losing his sanity to a girl not worth his time (in my opinion), he finally woke and saw her for what she was - a very bad influence. Of course the road was not easy, but I think it was better that he came to this conclusion on his own. I hope this helps. Your niece is still young and
@daDaize (215)
• Austria
27 Jan 12
"Your niece is still young and"...and what? You know I've been waiting the whole time now for the whole comment because it looks kinda incomplete to me. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.I'm "new" in the buisness of helping relatives because I was taught that I was not required to help but I got fed up that my mom and all the others only supported the boys of the family. I can't personally pay the tutiton fee (I live abroad) and I can't do much over the text messages because shes really disrespectful to me.I gave her the Debut because I liked her,I just didn't know that she would bring her bad influence boyfriend with her.I constantly remind her that her study is more important than her boyfriend and I don't want any bad surprises (pregnancy) but it seems like he is manipulating her head so much.Idk, she don't think much.I send money to her mom so that the mom can budget that but everytime I hear how there's not enough money,bla bla and if I give, the next thing I know..she uses the money to treat her boyfriend out to dinner,ferris wheel,etc.he boyfriend himself never gave her anything,not even simple flowers but my niece gives him so many expensive things with my money.Instead of wasting that for school where it is needed. She's disrespectful,rude,bad attitude to me,she doesn't even care about me (had accident with a car and was in hospital and she was laughing about that and DEMANDING money to be sent today),etc... Thnking back, maybe I should have listend to my mom...
@eunife (165)
• Philippines
22 Jan 12
it may be an issue of 'trust'. do you trust your niece ? if yes, then you can help her without any condition. i think that would be the sweetest and perhaps a mind twister for her. cuz in her mind, my aunt is helping me without expecting anything, how would i repay her? if she's a good and clever girl, she'll go the right way. sometimes, the more we are strict with kids, the more that they become rebelious. When i was in school, i had aunts who offered help too because my family is poor and they are the blessed ones but they give conditions. I did not accept the help because i know my aunts. one wrong turn and you become the most stupid girl in the whole wide world. my parents trusted me and supported me all the way. i work my way up to college with the help of my brothers and sisters, using the resources that we have. i just want to share about my friend when i was in college. if she had a boyfriend, she aces the exams but if she didn't have a boyfriend, she fails the exam and didn't want to study much. she had different boyfriends though, one at a time. it's like a boyfriend to her was a life that makes her move and think and laugh and do the things she should do. i am not saying here that we let our kids get boyfriends. my point is, we may want to consider if there is something good that relationship can bring. we may want to evaluate the relationship rather than judging the boyfriend. i think that's the best we can do to understand our kids and close the gap so they can open to us. if we tell them that we don't want them to get a boyfriend, they will tell you they don't have one even if they have lots of them. they will do it secretly and i think that's a bigger risk.
@daDaize (215)
• Austria
23 Jan 12
I trusted her fully until I learned that she did things and broke promises on purpose (just to hurt me).So yes there's a trust issue going on between us.I didn't set any conditions on her but I should have done so earlier cuz she started treating me bad already 2 years ago (when I started helping her)! Yes, she treated me bad but despite all I still care and love her (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have such qualm if I'm doing the right thing or not). I don't mind her having a boyfriend but I'm concerned that they will do something risky that could turn to pregnancy.Today's youth is very..sexualised?Also her grades are not that good...so maybe if she not have a boyfrend then maybe she would do better in school.
@jlamela (4909)
• Philippines
22 Jan 12
I admire your generosity. Yes, you are doing the right thing, if I am in your shoes I will do the same for my niece. You know what you are doing is not bad, it is really for your niece own good. When I was still in school, that's exactly what my parents said to me "no boyfriend, no suitor while still in school", I LISTENED to my parents and followed their advices and wishes, I didn't entertain suitors, no boyfriend until I finished school. I had crushes, yes, I think that's pretty normal but these crushes did not develop into falling in love. Love is not a feeling, it is always a choice, a decision. Looking back, I know I made an excellent decision to stay away from romantic relationships. Relationships, boyfriends can wait. I don't know why today's teenage girls would never understand that. They are more emotional and so stupid to listen to their emotions when it is not really real and sometimes would lead them astray. Just don't blame yourself, what you did is just right. Your niece's reaction is so shallow and illogical. She had chosen the guy, but the question is how long that guy would remain devoted to her and how far the relationship would endure, ten years from now, your niece will regret everything she did.
@daDaize (215)
• Austria
23 Jan 12
That's exactly what my mother taught me too..no boyfriends/suitors while in school..and I am from a very liberated country.Just like you I followed. I believe that my niece is maybe the kind of girl who always needs a boyfriend but her grades are ok but shes so often not concentrated because of him. I believe that if the boyfriend was good influence then she would be better at school,etc but her boyfriend is bad. He's 18 and 3rd year High school..he's not even on the same (school) level as my niece (1st yr college).. She actually says that they will remain forever, I seriously believe this is a joke because if he (the boyfriend) can barely support himself to go to High school, how will he be able to go to college so he can get a chance to work at a decent job to support him and her?How will she support her lifestyle and her future family..Boyfriend and her will be already together now for 2 years (tomorow)..I fear the day when she tells me or to her family that she got pregnant. Maybe she will regret everything...I'm not sure right now..
• Philippines
22 Jan 12
I think you are being reasonable. You laid out your terms, even giving her a debut party. I guess in her point of view, you still have no authority over her since you're not really her parents. She thinks of you as a very considerate relative but still thinks she doesn't answer to you, especially when it comes to her private life (boyfriend, love life etc.). Also remember that teenage girls are also rebellious. She put a good argument but kids these days are way too unpredictable. I'm not saying that she'll do something crazy but you never really know... If I were you, do the wait and see stance. Maybe she'll turn around and give more priority over studies. Or maybe life will make her realize which path is really for her. In this case, experience will be the best teacher.
@daDaize (215)
• Austria
23 Jan 12
She thinks of me as a bad relative.She tells me I have bad attitude,egoistic,etc..if she has fight with her boyfriend I'm also blamed for that.Yet no matter what I care for her.The worst thing is..she blames me on not understanding her..because I'm a foreigner (I'm only a half, lived my entire life in my country, got taught that I don't have obligation to help anyone!)..it true tho..to her..no one has authority but easily calls herself "PROPERTY" of her boyfriend. Well, we will see what will happen...her tutition fee isn't due til end of january anyways so I'm willing to wait til then for how she will turn out.It just hurts to see her not attend school.. thanks for the input
• Philippines
23 Jan 12
You were not harsh or anything negative about yourself, I think she should be at least grateful and thankful that despite they are poor, someone is there to help her study. It is very common these days, it is not surprising that a lot of teenagers will choose boyfriend over studies. I mean in my 3 years in college most of my friends choose boyfriend over studies and when it was almost there they break up and their grades can't anymore cope up with the requirements. I always advise them that instead going on a date they could at least go to school because honestly being the person who they turn to when they did not do their homework is frustrating already. I told them either you do these and that and not go to school or stop and I will help you, they chose their boyfriends so I stopped helping them. Then when they break up who do they turn to --- me. I told them I am sick and tired of their routines, and they said to give them a chance and I did, but it was again a dilemna and of course I stopped helping. I know you love her despite how many times you saw her, but we should know where we stand between right and wrong. What is wrong is that she chose her boyfriend over studies --- if this happens she would lose focus in school and honestly, you will be wasting money on her if this is her dilemna (I base this actual experience). What you did is right, gave her your last gift and will not support her studies because of her choice. It is nothing for you to be thinking or be depressed because you wanted to teach her something and I hope she learns from this..Education is one the hardest treasure to find and she should be happy someone is willing to give that to her, but since she wasted it, she needs to learn how to find that treasure on her own. Don't feel bad about it because you did the right thing, you will see the results from that decision alone how she will cope up with it. She will realize she miss a chance and I think she will ask help from you and I hope she hasn't done anything worse (like being pregnant or something).