Adult Immaturity

Reader Question: I’m having issues with my youngest brother, and I need some advice. He’s 25, divorced and has two kids. He only wants to play dad when it’s convenient for him, and he’s very irresponsible with money as well. Our parents passed away a few years ago, so this leaves me to be the big brother and dad at the same time. I worry about him, but I’m not sure how to help him grow up. Any advice?

dave_ramsey One of the bad things about these situations is watching people you love do stupid things to themselves and the people around them. And I don’t know that there’s really a lot you can do without becoming the enemy to some degree. You can always try to hold him to a higher standard and refuse to tolerate immature, irresponsible behavior when you’re around him. You might even look for opportunities to use yourself as an example. Point out areas in your life where you made mistakes in the past and how you fixed the problems. But to go out and directly intervene in his life, trying to force him to be a man, would be a tough thing to pull off.

When I help people on my show, I have the benefit of them calling in and actually looking to me for help. These people actually care about what I think. I don’t just walk up to folks and say, “You know, what you’re doing there is really stupid. Let me fix you.” I think that’s kind of the situation you’re in right now. I would also begin to pray for him, and ask God to bring people into his life who will have a positive impact.
You never know what might happen, and asking God for help is never a bad idea. Who knows? He might even start dating some strong, mature young woman who’ll jerk a knot in his tail and straighten him up!

Dave Ramsey

Dave is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Financial Peace. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated The Dave Ramsey Show, and is a regular guest on television. All of his financial counseling is based on biblical truths. You can hear Dave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., weekdays online at Send your questions He resides with his wife Sharon and their three children, Denise, Rachel, and Daniel, in Nashville, Tennessee.