Opinion » Minerva's Breakdown

Minerva's Breakdown

Advice for those on the verge


Dear Minerva,

I recently moved in with my parents and younger brothers. I like two of my brothers, but the youngest has been getting on my nerves! I'm in charge of house cleaning, but every time I ask him to help, he tells me he's not going to do it. I can't get him to do what he's supposed to do. My mom has tried and failed at punishing him for it. I am starting to resent him and moving back in with my family. What can I do?

­­—Clean Out of Patience

Dear Patience,

Unfortunately, you are not under your own roof nor are you the parent. He's acting like a younger sibling would be prone to act. If keeping the house clean is your job, you are ultimately responsible, whether or not your brother cooperates. Unless Mom can change his mind, you have to grin and bear it. I don't know how long you were out of the home, but in that time, the household dynamics have shifted. Your brother is not likely going to see you as a parental figure. I would have a serious talk with your mother, and then see what kind of arrangement can be made that gives you control over consequences. If not, reassess your need to have control over him, or reassess your need to live with your parents.