Do you have a really large family?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by lengel, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Years ago, my brother got a tuition reimbursement for moving to a rural area to practice medicine. He already had four children at the time and now has twelve. All twelve children are home schooled and are still living at home in spite of the fact that five are now over the age of eighteen. A few have part time jobs but that's it. All rely on my brother's position as the town doctor to support them and none of the kids really seem to care about supporting themselves. They are good people but uninterested in any kind of business opportunities in their area including working their own land or raising farm animals. They just seem to have wholesome pastimes such as writing, babysitting and playing piano.

    I am deeply concerned. If anything happens to my brother, what will these people do? They seem to rely on their local standing as the doctor's children, in spite of the fact that the oldest is 25.

    I always thought that a certain amount of independence taught confidence and self sufficiency. But my nieces and nephews act as if the meal ticket will always be there.

    If you have a large family or come from one, are there rules about when the kids have to get a job or move out or anything like that? Do they have jobs outside of the home or work to expand your assets?
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'm not sure this has anything to do with having a large family....but more to do with kids who've never been made/or allowed to grow up. My kids were long out of the house and on their own way before age 25. I can't imagine them even wanting to be here at home with us!! Were they allowed interaction with the "outside" world growing up since they were homeschooled? Did the older ones go to college? Are your brother and SIL even unhappy with the situation? If they aren't, the kids will probably be allowed to continue to do as they have been.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  3. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    The "kids" aren't even allowed to visit their family members unless they travel together which is, of course, complicated and expensive. They function in groups. And none of them have gone to college. The oldest wouldn't even answer the phone until she was sixteen. They are, however, well cared for and everyone raves about what a great father my brother is. Until today, I didn't even realize that the oldest is, well, so old. They just seem to be a bunch of well kept children.
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member 10 Years

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    It sounds like you might need to have a heart-to-heart talk with the children's parents. Ask them what their plan is for their children's support when they pass away. Ask if there is anything you can do to assist with getting the kids enrolled in college. Maybe a few of them can live with you while they attend a university near where you live.
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    WOW....I honestly don't know what to say. I'm sad for the kids tho. Well cared for or not that is not a normal way for children to be raised. The world is a scary place sometimes, but to keep your children so isolated is just sad. I can't believe they haven't had at least one child who's rebeled against them.....that could come yet I guess.
  6. Betsy

    Betsy Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northeast Indiana
    I second Katy-I think it's a case of parents not allowing their children to grow up. I was just at a gathering for homeschool alumni a month ago in Kentucky and quite a few came from large families yet were independent adults. There was a group that carpooled in from Idaho, and though I didn't get to know them well, I know that there were three siblings in the group that came from a family of 12 children. LOL, I was just reading on the website that organized the homeschool alumni gathering about some parents being to controlling of their children....
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member


    Good luck.

    I have an uncle that lives with us. He lives off my dad. Never in his life had a real job so to say and just "helped out" at the family business. He's what? 58? And even had his school paid for by my dad when they were younger. My dad's like 65 and still working and has put both my brother and I though college too. This uncle is like paranoid of the world it's so bad. Sadily... he gets inheritance that will probably drift him past the grave some day. Enough of that though.

    In my real family, there is just my brother and parents. At 20 and 22 moving up and doing things on your own is something done by us kids as a mater of self pride and hard work to make parents proud even though they never told us to go get a job. Actually, we were told not to get jobs while in school. Yet, I did get part times as tutors and research assistants for my own benefit. There are no set ages for things here as they are based on our maturity level. For example, I got my car when I was 17, my dad gave me a joint credit card he would pay for if I used it wisely and three gas cards when I was 18, but my brother has none of these and he's 20 with no sign of such things in the near future.

    On the topic of large families, my mom was one of 9. They grew up in China where her dad was a doctor and none of the kids dreamed of more than eating white bread like Americans. However, after many years of fighting and finally getting out of the country, it was the job of the kids to make a life for themselves. All are now successful, own businesses, own homes, cars, have too spoiled of kids [​IMG] and I think what did it for them was that they didn't have a choice. All they saw when they left was that they were leaving the country with a bag of goods and what they were wearing. Despite living at home being dependents between the ages of 17-32 or there abouts, it was circumstance that made them change and look for a way to support themselves in a place where they could not even speak the language.

    So I'd say that if it really came down to it, you're nieces and nephews will probably be able to get a job and work from the bottom up if something were to happen to their dad. They'll just have to give up the things in life they now enjoy. Hey, at least they speak English and I assume a basic education. I think you can only worry so much as change for them is going to have to come from within. Chill and try to make it clear to them that you'll be there, but you're not going to be a replacement parent if they lose theirs.
  8. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    Your brother may mean well but he is not doing his kids any favors. From what you describe, he is crippling them. One thing I learned early is that it all can disappear in a blink and you had better be able to take care of yourself. Parents, spouses, and friends may mean to be there for you but that does not mean they will/can. You are the only one who is really responsible for you.

    I hope you can help, assuming you are willing to get involved in what could be a very sticky situation with your brother.
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    As a nurse, I can tell you that one of the first things we look for in a home where there are deeply seated control issues is a big family. Its possible that this "great father" that everyone sees on the outside, has been very authoritative in his home. Sounds like he has been controlling these children very closely for many years. When someone makes all your decisions for you, you grow up not knowing how to make any of your own. You are constantly looking for your authority figure for guidance, which they gladly give. They don't like independence as it takes away a measure of their control.

    I know, I come from a family of 9. My parents both came from large families. Everyone I know from large families had a father that was very, very much into control. My dad didn't want us to go to college either. Too far from the center of control, may get some ideas of our own, marry someone he doesn't approve of (which turned out to be noone!), move somewhere too far away for him to dictate our every move.

    A lot of kids is a great way to control a wife and a great way to have people over which you have many years of continued control. I wouldn't look much farther than your brother as the cause of these children's helplessness and lack of ambition. When they can't even go places without being in a group, at that age, you have some serious psychological ramifications going on. Just because he is a doctor and a pillar of the community doesn't mean he doesn't have some issues. Read up on it, recognize it for what it is, and let it go! Nothing you can do about it now...damage done and the kids will have to find their own ways to cope and heal from this type of tyranny. Some never do.
  10. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Quote:You have restored my faith in the next generation. Thank you.

    I have no idea of what happened here other than that there are no expectations whatsoever for these guys. Their grasp on the real world is kind of unbelievable too.

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