Q: My parents own two houses but have no cash, no income. Mom (age 60) has a cancerous colon polyp which the doctor says needs to be removed ASAP. She asked for us kids to help. (Total cost $1000, = $250 ea.)
One daughter (with ample money) says no to this and any future requests. The other children pay.
How do I treat my sister?
A: Your letter seems to imply that it’s necessary to change your whole current relationship with your sister because of this refusal. I don’t agree that it’s necessary, but I guess you can do it if you want to.
How did you get along with her before? How often do you see her or talk with her for any length of time? Do you enjoy the time you spend with her and look forward to the next time? – Such questions help you to think about the whole relationship – and what you get out of it – rather than just this recent event.
If you really enjoy her otherwise, it’d be a shame to feel you must change because of this. (But if your sister feels greatly “separate” from the rest of her family about this, my guess would be that she always feels greatly separate.)
I don’t think it’s your duty to “discipline” your sister by deciding what she “deserves” now. I think you should be more concerned about yourself than that… and base your decisions on how she treats you, how well you get along, etc.