Changing Family Roles

Senior Andrea Alcantara explains how she has become a "parent" in the house.

By Samantha Wang

Senior Andrea Alcantara starts her day by cooking breakfast for her siblings and cleaning up around the house during the pandemic.


Since Alcantara’s parents are still working during the shelter-in-place, the responsibility of taking care of her three little siblings has left to her. In the morning, she cleans up around the house, washes and puts away dishes, and cooks breakfast or warms leftovers while her siblings are still asleep. In the afternoon, she works on her schoolwork and watches her siblings. Alcantara feels like she has become a “parent” in the house.


“Right now, I know how much family needs each other, and I decided to help my mom out with kids and also help around the house,” Alcantara said. “I definitely became a second ‘mom’ to my little siblings. I’ve lived with my dad alone, so I decided to live with my mom a bit because I have siblings there, and I could be around more people.”


Alcantara became the oldest person in the house, so she has not only needed to finish her online homework but also to make sure her siblings do their school work or do something they like.  


“[Since] we still do online work for school, so when I can’t have my focus on them or do housework, I make sure they have their focus on their school work too or they have something they love to do for a little, like gaming, watching a movie and video…something to keep them busy while I am,” Alcantara said.


By spending time together every day, Alcantara finds herself getting a lot closer to her family because they get to know each other more.


“I definitely did become closer with my mom’s side,” Alcantara said. “I became closer with them [my siblings]. I learned about their personalities more, and how much they love having an older sibling there.”