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Ask Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH Your Ow...
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 251
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience as a substance abuse therapist. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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My 28 yr. old nephew is a bright and engaging man. However,

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My 28 yr. old nephew is a bright and engaging young man. However, he displays this strong sense of entitlement and has already filed bankruptcy, can't keep a job (two college degrees), has no sense of reality, has no accountability nor responsbility for his situation. His mother, my sister, has contributed to her son's attitudes because she is of a similar mindset. My nephew has no remorse nor respect for his mother who always felt sorry for him growing up (she was divorced), made no secret of her favor of my nephew over his sister, and has bailed this boy out time and again. While my nephew absolutely has to make some changes, I feel his mother does, as well. I hate to see her in the state she is in, but all she does is threaten and my nephew pays no attention.
Any suggestions?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. Sorry to hear your family is behaving this way. It sounds like you are concerned for them but it also sounds like you have stayed out of it for the most part. Believe it or not, this is the only thing you can do. There is nothing you can do to change their irresponsible behavior or to get your sister to stop babying him. You can continue to take care of yourself and if anyone in the situation asks for your advice or suggestions or if they try to pull you in the middle of it, politely decline to discuss it or end the conversation. I

would suggest keeping the approach you are already using and hope that your other sister (the one in the middle) will see the behavior you are modeling and try to be more like you. I wish there was a different answer but we can't help people that don't want to help themselves.

I hope this answer helps, please let me know if you have any other questions or if you need further clarification about this answer.

All the best,
Kym Tolson, LCSW, CSAC, NBCCH and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. My sister and I both agree with your suggestion and also clearly realize this situation is one of "help thyself first" and maybe outside help will be again be offered.

It is simply frustrating and while my middle sister is torn with family obligation, she firmly told our baby sister today she is done.

My nephew and his mother seem to have a "victim" mentality that permeates their lives. Neither acknowledges their choices have led them to where they are at this point and both feel they are entitled to do as they please with no consequences nor accountability. If this is pointed out to them (and not in an accusing manner), it is they are being picked on or it's someone else's fault. No win situation and a sad one.

I totally agree with you on both parts. No win and very sad. Especially when it's your sister and nephew. It makes it even harder to detach. I would suggest not enabling the behavior in anyway for example if they call to complain or ask for money or for advice about the other one don't give in to it. For people to want to change they usually have to hit some sort of a bottom. For your sister, telling her she is done was a great move. It will be very important for her to stick to this decision because if she goes back on it, it gives the unconscious message, I think your behaviors are actually okay. Know what I mean?

I wish you both all the best with this. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Take care,