29 Aug 2015

Mollycoddle/ Teach to Live?

Last night, I got into a heated argument with someone who neither gets heated nor argues. What was it about, you ask? (Even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you, so you might as well).

My sister is going through some stuff in school. Considering I went through the same crap in the same crap place in a similarly crappy school, I told her not to give a flying banana about anything, she’s going to leave the place in less than two years. And that it is not going to matter after that. Not even a little bit.

I gave her this advice knowing how insignificant such things (that can seem life-altering at that point) become once the situation changes and you gain more control over your own life.
What I do know is that she is coping eons better than how I coped at that age. But this knowledge didn’t stop me from feeling upset for her – I know high school drama and ‘betrayal’ of friends who meant more than life better than a lot of people.

The point is, I’d give anything to protect her from such pointless situations in life. I have the experience to show, I’ve already dealt with such crap, and I know what the lesson to be learnt from it is – why can’t I just be the big sister that I am and hand over the lesson instead of her having to go through the same things and arrive at the same point after much mental/ emotional turmoil? What use am I of, as the big sister, if she can’t learn from my mistakes?

But this person I was arguing with had a different POV, valid but one that is very clinical (at least in my head).

Mollycoddling younger siblings, i.e. not letting them experience life the way we did, is one way of handicapping them for adulthood.


Because they will not be capable of fighting their own battles at a later stage. They will not learn to separate emotion from fact. They will not be equipped to deal with different types of people, because, at the end of the day, school IS practice for real life.

I feel this it is easy to adopt the POV when it is someone else that we are talking about. But when it comes to my own sister, I’d rather equip her with my knowledge than have her go through the motions herself. But according to the other POV, I am handicapping her, in a way.

What do you guys think?

Should I protect her?
Or should I throw her to the lions and say “deal with it, it is good practice”.

P.S: This is a biased view of the argument, if you hadn’t guessed :P
P.P.S: Regardless of what anyone says, I think I probably will end up protecting her, because SHE BE MY LITTLE SISTER. But I still want to know if I'm wrong in thinking this way.


  1. You are wrong in your opinion, but I would say mollycoddle when it is a silly little thing but when it is something she would learn out of, derive a life lesson, I would give her a little time to figure it out for herself, supporting her all the way from the behind. So I would say it is a combination of mollycoddling and letting them handle it on their own? And again, this is just my opinion and what I'd do if I were you and what I'd expect to be done for me if I were my sister :)

    And irrespective of anything, there is nothing wrong in wanting to protect your little sister, that's only natural :)

  2. Sorry, but I agree with your friend! Maybe it's because I don't have a little sister but I AM a little sister. When my older brother would try to give me his words of wisdom I would mostly disregard it because well, hormones, teenage and what not. Basically, I didn't listen to him. I went through stuff with friends, politics, etc in high school and I honestly think that going through those situations has given me the best life lessons I could ever ask for. Had I just listened to my brother I would probably end up doing the same things, just a little later in life and wouldn't have the knowledge that I have now to deal with it.

    So I say don't "throw her to the lions". Give her the best advice you can and let her go through the stuff she is meant to, with you having a watchful eye over her. Those experiences will definitely make her a stronger person.

    Also, hi! I missed reading you!!!

  3. I would protect here if the situation is pretty tough...no point in taking it to the extreme for her. I am sure what she is going through already is a good enough lesson for now.

  4. You can give her your advice, but not your experience. Your intentions are good, but it is truly dependent on the situation, some things we must learn for ourselves..while other things can be taught. I feel the things that we need to learn ourselves, nobody can protect us from anyways.

  5. As an elder sister, I completely understand and empathise. I'd probably have done the same in your place. I probably did a lot of it too. To some extent it is fine to stand up for her when she seems incapable of doing so. But doing it on a regular basis would actually defeat the purpose of her learning. It's tough but let go, little by little. not all at once. Knowing you, it may be a tough thing to do ;) Work on it gradually.

  6. hmm,school days are like where you realise good and bad .you learn basics of life and you lay foundation whatever the personality you will be in future.being youngest in my family,i never gave advise to someone. my school had little gang of 5 and they used to bully me a lot.i had to beat up everyone when they crossed limits.once i had situation where i could not handle 5 at a time,then i used to approach my brother.he used to punch the leader of gang after a stern warning.but they used to make fun of me that am like a kid who complains to my elder brother.one day i have lost my patience and punched the guy repeatedly and he fell to the ground unconscious and it became big news in my school.everyone used to ask me whether am trying to prove myself a hero or superman.i just told them,i want to prove what happens when a good guy gets angry. from that day everyone was scared and they used to think am cruel for defending myself. when my class teacher took me to my principal over this issue,i have defended myself aggressively that i never did wrong in my whole school life and there is a limit to patience too.my principal too agreed with me and am the only guy who was left unpunished after such incident. i always maintained equal distance from everyone coz i din't come across anyone who is really good without any motive.

    but if i have a younger sibling,i would rather share my experiences whenever we converse.it doesn't define your conversation as advise,but its like google search,where you have to pick up right link from many that will provide solution for his/her circumstances in life.i will always make him/her feel free to share issues .that's what older people are there for in a family,if you want someone to grow by themselves when they have access to experienced people and if they end up in miserable position in life,as a family member you won't be able to digest.intellect is a relative thing,some people are self-realised,some need assistance and one can converse or protect according to their personality.so you can act according to your sister personality.does she need help or is she capable of doing things on her own.defending people for relationship sake without knowing who is on wrong and right side too is a bad thing.

  7. I have always been protective of my younger brother. But there was this one time, when I just let him be to see how well he could handle the mess, and I was impressed that he turned out to handle way better than I did.

    We sometimes tend to forget everybody has a different approach to a similar situation. Having said that, I still am extremely protective about him and will continue to keep giving him gyaan always.

  8. I will let her handle it too. Its the same thing like with kids. There is a quote. Children who fall more often when they are little, learn better to take care of themselves. Just the way, your sister needs to experience and learn it for herself. Just let her realize that you are there foe her no matter what. Hope she and you feeling better now. 😊

  9. I am an elder sister so I feel what you have written. In my case if I directly try to save my siblings from having a bad experience (one I have been through) then usually they do not listen and fall in the ditch any ways :P So I think whats wise is to explain them the situation, pros and cons of it, how its like, how its going to be, how it was for the unguided me and leave the decision power in their hands. This way they will learn the lessons of life from either my experience or their own but they will learn to make right decisions.

  10. I have a younger sister and brother. I would do whatever I can to protect and support them, to stand by and for them anytime. Even if I try I won't be able to just leave them deal with their own problems. What are siblings for!!!

  11. I feel in this situation you can give your support by talking her through it and lending her an understanding ear, but she'll be better-equipped for life if she deals with this by herself. I am speaking for younger sisters here, because I know how lioness-y elder sisters can get when it comes to their little babies, but you need to give her some rope and let her lose so she will know what she's dealing with. But, be there for her.

  12. You can only prepare her for battles, I think. She may still have to enter the lions den, and she has to do battle on her own then. But she might fight better knowing what step not to take.


Go on, you can say it.