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.
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'm 16, and my sister is 5, so I'm totally with you in how hard it is to have siblings who are so much younger than you. I also am currently in the exact same situation as you in terms of being...a little fed up, I guess...with the fact that my younger sister can whine, and then get whatever she wants, and honestly my sister copies my every move. Here are some things that might make you feel better; they're things I try to force myself to realize when I'm especially frustrated. 1) Copying is the largest form of flattering. Yes, while I understand that it is annoying to have a sibling try to do everything that you do, and then see how amazed your parents are when they do it "cuter," I just sit back and think about how much my sister really must love and admire me if she wants to be just like me. Think about a person you copied or tried to emulate, that's how much your sister looks up to you! 2) You are the older person, so try to act like it. While I often catch myself tattling on my sister or fighting back when she teases me about a boy or something, in the end I feel sort of ridiculous. Why would I waste my time arguing with a little kid? Honestly it's not worth it, and it just makes me look silly. So...I TRY to take a deep breath and just calm down before I say anything else to her. Usually if I say something in a "nice voice" I can sway her bad mood and negotiate, but you need to be sure you're calm. 3.) Dealing with the whining factor. So, I really don't think that there is anything more annoying than seeing your little sister get her way because she throws a temper tantrum. It's hard to see how she can manipulate situations just because of her age, but in the end it's not my decision. My mom is the one who lets her get her way, not me. So while sometimes I have to give up watching the movie I want to see, or I'm forced to play a game with her I don't necessarily want to play, I just try to stay calm. Usually if I talk to my mom about it, we can work something out so that I can do what I want to do too, and I never try to fight my sister on it; instead I go to my mom. If you tell your parents how much this frustrates you and come up with compromises, I promise you'll get way better results than if you try to duke it out with a 7-year-old. BEST OF LUCK, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!!!!
--Stormie, IML Mentor
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?
Welcome to my life! My little sister is four and she's constantly stealing my things and coloring on any papers of mine she can find. While I do have my own room, I've had to come up with innovative ways of getting things done because she always seems to find a way in. The first thing I did was to stay after school and get as much work done as I could at the library. When I got into high school and had practice after school, that didn't work anymore, so I started to do my work outside if it was warm enough and I had a computer. Also, my mom allowed me to work in her office or bedroom when it was too loud to think around my sister. Another thing that might help is a study group. You and your friends could form a group to do homework together a few times a week and you could switch off having it at everyone's houses. If others are at your house, chances are your siblings might be kept under closer supervision, and you'll get some extra help from your friends on homework you might not understand.
--Stormie, IML Mentor
It sounds like you really want to have more privacy, whether that be a room of your own or more respect for your belongings from your siblings. I know that you have asked your parents for a room of your own already, but maybe you can try talking to them again, except approach them in a different way. Make sure you are calm, collected, and have planned what you are going to say. This way, your parents are more likely to take you seriously. Also, you may want to consider doing a few more chores around the house or improve your grades to show your parents that you are responsible and can handle the extra responsibility. When you talk to them, explain to them that having your own room would really help you out with your schoolwork and that now that you're getting older you would really appreciate having some extra privacy and a place of your own. If they still will not give you your own room then maybe you guys can compromise. Maybe your parents can set some mo re grounds rules for your younger siblings so they will not go rifling through your stuff and will be quieter around you when you are doing your homework. I really hope everything works out for you and good luck!
--Joy, IML Mentor
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!
First of all, I dont think you should hurt her backwhy sink to her level? I'd suggest that you talk to your brother openly about how you feel. It could be that he laughed at those names only because he didn't realize they hurt you that much. Or it could be that he thinks laughing will make his girlfriend happy. Like it or not, he probably has to go through this phase to find out what's meaningful to him and what's not. Keep in mind that you will be your brothers sister forever, and this girlfriend will probably NOT be his girlfriend forever. The two of you will have fun again, in different and better ways. In the meantime, just ignore his girlfriend. Just like with any bully, if she doesnt get a reaction from you, shell eventually get bored with the name-calling.
--Joyce, IML Mentor
I'm sorry to hear that your relationship with your brother has gone sour. Sometimes when we get older, we tend to grow apart from our previous relationships. Now that your brother has a new girlfriend, he may allow her to say mean things to you because he wants to stay on her good side and continue being her boyfriend. You have to let your brother know that you don't appreciate his girlfriend's comments and him not defending you. His girlfriend should be willing to respect you because you are his sister.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor
I understand what it is like to be a younger sibling, because I have an older sister. I know how tough it is to not be able to spend all the time you used to with your sibling now that they grow older and things change. The most important thing is to spend as much time with your brother as you can. Make sure your brother knows how you feel and tell him that youre willing to get to know his girlfriend. Try to accept that your brother has feelings for this girl and that even if he cant make time to have fun with you, he deserves to have one-on-one time with any person he desires. If his girlfriend continues to be mean to you after you try to get to know her, then you should try to just ignore her as much as possible. If that doesnt help, consider getting a parent involved.
--Joel, IML Mentor
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