(Closed) Is anyone a Big Sister?

posted 7 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
43 posts
Newbee

I was a Big Sister for a few months before my Little Sister’s family abruptly moved away… because their apartment building was condemned. I lost all contact with her at that point and was too emotionally drained to try again.

I was also a psychology major, and I had several friends who participated in this and similar programs with mixed results. 

One common problem is that it’s hard to draw a line when it comes to appropriate behavior. More than one friend was taken advantage of by the family of their Little Brother/Sister. One friend of mine invited her Little Sister to swim, only to be loaded down with half a dozen other children to care for. One mom in particular repeatedly told the Big Sister that her children would not be able to eat that night unless BS got them all food. That might have been true, but that is a HUGE emotional and financial burden for a college student to handle. One friend was stolen from by his LB. And one unfortunate friend was even sued by her Little Sister’s family after being rear-ended while driving the kid somewhere! 

That being said, I think the program is an amazing one. It has the potential to change kids lives as well as changing YOUR life. Personally, I never had any problems with my LS or her family. However, I would advise you to follow all the rules and suggestions they give you very carefully. Try to keep your activities limited to things that are public and free. It is not ever a good idea to have your LS come to your home or to give her presents. It sounds cruel, but it is crucial to invest in your LS emotionally, not financially. Emphasize educational and relational skills. Do arts and crafts, play board games, visit parks, go to museums… Listen to her, and always tell her how special and capable she is… 

You have the potential to do so much good for this child. What you are doing is truly an amazing thing! It will not always be easy, but it will definitely be a good experience for someone who is considering school counseling as a career. Good luck! 

Post # 4
Member
527 posts
Busy bee

@constellation: Great info!  I have been thinking about being a Big Sister too.

Post # 5
Member
1046 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I was a big sister for a year or so.  I intentionally told them I was willing to work with an emotionally problematic child and the girl I had was really cool but she ended up having to live with her grandma in Kentucky because her mom lost custody.  It was really sad, I keep meaning to go volunteer again. I don’t know why I keep putting it off =(

Post # 6
Member
3254 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@constellation: A similar situation happened to my sister when she was a Big Sister; her LS moved away without telling anyone and she never saw her again. This is some great advice you have shared.

Post # 8
Member
43 posts
Newbee

@Mrs. Puffin: I’m not exactly sure how the trial worked out. I know it went on for ages, but I think they ended up settling outside of court because it got reeeally dirty (lots of lies and threats) and they were afraid of the reprecussions for my friend’s future career. The family of the LS definitely did end up with some money. It was ridiculous! I don’t think it’s a common enough problem that you need to worry about it; it’s just something to think about. I’m glad this info was useful to everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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