My brother and his girlfriend are taking over our mother’s house
My younger brother has moved into our mother’s house with his girlfriend.
My sister and I are now noticing that our elderly mother is slowly losing control of her own place.
What is the best way to intervene on her behalf?
It would be ideal to have a family meeting to discuss what you don’t appreciate.
If you do not continually challenge the couple’s actions, they will continue to do as they please.
If there is serious concern over the health and safety of your mother, then social support services such as a social worker should be involved to provide protection for your mother.
This will also serve to show your brother that you have taken the matter to the authorities, and that it is not just between the siblings.
Social workers can help establish a set of rules to manage your mother’s house and serious consequences if those rules are broken.
An external body can help to assert those rules as it can be difficult to be firm and hard on our families even though we can see that they are mistreating us.
Maybe in this way your brother will take your concerns seriously.
Whatever your brother is doing right now is by your mother’s design.
If he is being disrespectful towards your mother, it would be because she has allowed that behaviour from an early age.
Trying to reprimand him now can turn him into a rebel.
You may have to stand back and watch, and rather do your part in taking care of your mother.
Tshenkeng is a clinical psychologist, e-mail her on tumi.tshenkeng@gmail .com
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