Raising Siblings: Pros and Cons

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    I read in a Jewish article somewhere about someone writing to a frum therapist about her concern that her teenage friend was being overburdened with taking care of her siblings. It was taking away from her study time, plus she didn’t have time to relax and be with friends.

    The therapist mentions the pros and cons of helping with siblings. It helps the parents a lot, plus gives the child responsibility and confidence. On the other hand, it shouldn’t take away from their studies or social life.

    She also mentioned that she has counseled some married women who were having difficulty raising their own children because they are “burnt out”

    Children need a childhood so they can have a healthy and happy adulthood. The key is moderation and balance between helping out and having to themself.


    Children should not be raising their siblings, period. Children should pitch in with the household duties which may include some child-care duties. The issue is when does it cross the line from appropriate chores/pitching in to actually being a third parent. That is where it becomes unhealthy and causes all sorts of issues. But changing a few diapers or keeping them entertained on a long Shabbos afternoon is definitely not in that category, and is even good for them- when they’re a parent, IY’H, they’ll be somewhat prepared.





    I think that it is very important for the siblings to help out their parents but not to actually become like the parent of the child. They need to be given their own free time also and time to be with friends and study for school.


    Sometimes you have no choice ,like in a case of a mother who is in the hospital, and the father is overwhelmed

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