Sometimes you love them, sometimes you don't...that's what brothers and sisters are all about. Get advice from the IML experts and Mentors on all sorts of sibling situations.
Advice Questions about Sibling Problems:
- My 10 year old brother is ALWAYS hitting me and bugging me when I don't do anything wrong. Lately I have gotten really frustrated and said, ‘Why do you always do this to me?’ and he says, ‘Because I can!’ It makes me so mad. I'm afraid he’s gonna become a bully because he just doesn’t seem to care about other people's feelings or anything. He even talks back to our mom! Help!
- My brother has a girlfriend and now he cares more about her than me. My brother and I have always been really close. He is always talking on the phone with her. But I really like his girlfriend and she's nice to me...it's just he likes her more than me!
- My younger brother is so mean but I am very nice to him. When I have friends over he bugs us, and he recently started playing pranks on me. I told my mom but he said that he would do no such thing. Also, he embarrasses me around random people!
- My older brother and I are always fighting. He always calls me names and tells me I'm short. My friend and her brother are really close and nice to each other. How can I strengthen my relationship with my brother?
- My older brother Adam is so rude and mean to me. Every time I try to make things fair, he calls me names and says things like, "I'm surprised anyone even likes you.’ I always try to do nice stuff for him but he always says I am stupid or something. He always accuses me of lying or doing things I don't do. I've tried talking to him about it but he doesn't listen, and if he finds out a secret he tells his friends and embarrasses me. I really want us to stop fighting and be closer, but nothing works. I'm tired of it and I want it to stop. Can you help?
- I used to make up really fun games with my sister when we were little. Now I'm in sixth grade and she's in first. She always whines when I don't want to play her kind of games. I feel like our relationship is tearing apart. For example, when I talk to my friends on the phone she asks me dumb questions and yells. When they come over, she is rude to them and embarrasses me! It is getting worse. HELP!
- I have my own room and when I'm in there I like to be left alone unless it is totally important. Dad always opens my door and lets my sisters Madison, 1, and Natalie, 7, in the room! And then I have to pack up everything that I'm doing, which usually involves felt-pens and stuff, and that really stinks. What can I do to stop my Dad from doing this?
- Lately it seems like my younger sister is ‘in my shadow,’ and I think it's upsetting her and affecting our relationship as siblings. People always tell me I'm the ‘perfect child’ -- intelligent, talented, and whatever else -- and I have a lot of friends. Sometimes she gets really upset, and my parents tell me that she has low self-esteem sometimes because she feels she can't live up to my image
- Me and my little sister have a 6 year age difference. We argue about everything, we never get along and we never agree on anything. She whines too much and gets everything her way. Then she copies me and it's frustrating. IML, please give me advice so I can deal with her attitude and stop arguing with my sister!
- I have to share a room with 2 younger siblings. I hate it, because they always wreck my things, I have an invasion of privacy, and it's hard to get my schoolwork done. I asked my parents for my own room, but they said no because they need the other extra room to store stuff! What do I do?
- My brother Kevin and I used to have so much FUN! He's in grade 11 and I'm going into grade 7. But he has a new girlfriend. She is SO mean -- all of his friends says shes mean too. She calls me names like Garbage Picker and Outcast Fatto! Kevin always laughs at these names too. I want to hurt her back, but I don't want my brother to get mad!! Please help me!
- Im afraid for my older sister Kathy. She cries herself half sick almost every night. Shes 15 and has a lot of friends and is popular. I don't know if shes on drugs or something, but shes very sad. How can I talk to her and my mom and dad about it?
- I think my brother's becoming a bully! I've already talked to my dad, but he's not doing anything. My brother's 4. He says things like, 'If you don't do what I want, I wont let you do something you like to do.' He's only 4, so he can't do any damage, it's his attitude I'm worried about. Please tell me what to do!
- I'm the youngest of four, so I'm last at everything and it's like it doesn't matter as much as when my brothers did stuff. What should I do?
- I'm in fifth grade now, so I have a lot more homework. My little sister is really upset that I can't play with her as much as I used to. What can I do to make her happy and still be able to do all my homework?
- I found out my brother has been on some Web sites that he shouldn't be on. I feel like I need to tell my parents, but I don't want him to be embarrassed. What should I do?
- My sister, Angel, has a crush on a celebrity. She is SO in love with him. She talks about him 24/7, dreams about him, and plans their wedding. She hasn't even met him yet. She is so obsessed, it is making her sad and not very social. Please help me!
- Me and my sister always used to fight, but towards the end of last summer, we became really close. You know, we would share clothes and hang out like real friends. But now she has a boyfriend, and she spends all her time with him and completely ignores me! I really miss the way we used to be, and I've tried to confront her about it without directly coming out and saying whats wrong. But she doesn't get it! I just want things to go back to the way they were!!!
- My little brother is only 2, but he drives me crazy! My parents say our age difference is so far apart it shouldnt matter, but it does! He's ALWAYS following me around, and when I try to be nice to him he tries to bite me or spit at me! I don't want to hurt him but I'm afraid I might, what should I do?
- Im the youngest in my family. My sister is 23 and works in the city, and my brother is 30 and owns a pizzeria. Im close to them but never see them, and on the weekends I end up so dead bored. My mom and my friends are always busy on the weekends. What can I do to make my siblings spend more time with me?
- "My sister is being mean to me and trying to be the boss of me."
- "My little sister is getting on my nerves. She won't stop talking!"
- "How do you deal when your brothers and sisters always have you in the 'annoyance zone'?"
- Miranda and Nicole need help because their younger sisters are always taking their things.
- Read what our Mentors and experts have to say if you are being physically hurt or threatened by a brother or sister.
I'm in fifth grade now, so I have a lot more homework. My little sister is really upset that I can't play with her as much as I used to. What can I do to make her happy and still be able to do all my homework?
It's hard for younger siblings to understand what their older siblings are going through, since they've never gone through this stuff before. I think you need to sit down with your sister and try as best as you can to explain the situation to her. Maybe you could schedule a little time each day, or one day on the weekend, where it will be just the two of you. I think she'll be happy to hear you remind her that she's important to you and that you're committed to quality time together.
--Lindsey, IML Mentor
Now that you're in 5th grade, the concept of time management might be new but very important. Try to set aside an hour or two for yourself each day, just for homework. If you concentrate and work efficiently, then you'll probably still have time for your little sister. Also, think about how you can include her in some of your other activities, such as taking her along to hang out with friends. Good luck with 5th grade!
--Joyce, IML Mentor
It sounds like your schoolwork is slowly growing, and more is coming your way. You'll get through it! My suggestion is this: as soon as you get home, start your work and aim to finish it so that afterwards, you can play with your sister. After a while, she'll probably come to understand that your schoolwork comes first and then it's her turn. It's a good thing for her to learn. I used to put off homework until the last minute, and it just didn't give me time for anything else. Now I do it as soon as I get home and I have so much more free time! If I can do it, so can you!
--Jaron, IML Mentor
I found out my brother has been on some Web sites that he shouldn't be on. I feel like I need to tell my parents, but I don't want him to be embarrassed. What should I do?
Its always tough when youre caught between your sibling and your parents. But every situation is different, and its really up to you to decide what is right in your particular circumstance. If you think the Web sites your brother visits are either wrong or dangerous, you should make sure your parents know so they can talk to him. What I did when I was in your shoes was to talk to my sibling first. I told her that I was concerned about her and that she needed to talk to our parents about what she was doing. At first she said she wouldnt, but I told her that if she didnt, I would. I knew it would be hard for her, but I wanted to give her a chance to confess and approach our parents first. That way, I didnt have to tell on her, but my parents found out about a possibly harmful situation anyway. Again, every family is different, but the most important thing is to be both honest and considerate. Hope this helps!
--Hydie, IML Mentor
Before you tell your parents, I think you should go to your brother and talk to him. Find out why hes going to these Web sites, and tell him you think he should stop. If it seems as though hes not going to stop, then you should tell your parents. Remember to be sensitive when telling, and you also have to think about the possible consequences of telling. Your brother might become angry with you, and your parents might start monitoring your Internet activity -- his and yours both -- more closely. Good luck!
--Tiffany, IML Mentor
I have been in the same situation, with my sister. My sister is a rebellious type of girl who does everything that she's not supposed to do. She was reading very mature books and magazines when she was in 3rd grade. Like you, I knew that it was wrong and that it's better to let my parents know before it's too late. But sometimes I hesitated because I didn't want to see her punished and didn't want her to hate me forever. But trust me, there's nothing more important than letting your parents know what's going on so they can help your brother out of whatever situation he might be in. This is different from telling on him about trivial stuff; it's more like standing up for what you believe. You believe what he does is wrong, so you should do what is right. Just remember that by telling your parents about it, you're fulfilling your responsibility as a sibling by helping your brother.
--Joyce, IML Mentor
My sister, Angel, has a crush on a celebrity. She is SO in love with him. She talks about him 24/7, dreams about him, and plans their wedding. She hasn't even met him yet. She is so obsessed, it is making her sad and not very social. Please help me!
It sounds like your sister is crushing really hard for this celebrity! Can't say I don't do the same thing. I have NSYNC posters up and down all my walls, and I must admit that I have planned the day Lance Bass and I do meet and he proposes marriage. My crush is very harmless, though. I don't die when I hear he has a girlfriend or cry when I hear something terrible has happened to him. Your sister seems to be a little more mentally attached to this celebrity. Talk to her and tell her how this obsession is making you feel. Suggest activities or hobbies you can do together that may help her focus on other things besides her crush. If she cant detach herself from her fantasy world, there might be something else going on. At that point, you should consider talking to a parent, teacher, or an advisor or counselor.
--Danielle, IML Mentor
I think its important for you to first make sure your sister understands the difference between a REAL crush and one that is impossible to attain. If she seems to know which is which, maybe you dont have to be so worried. Consider her age! I think we all went through a celebrity crush at one time. But if she continues to be depressed over it, I suggest talking to a parent or another trusted adult about whats going on.
--Jessica, IML Mentor
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