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 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!
Ok, it sounds like you are having a sibling issue. My little sister does the same things yours does: she yells when I'm on the phone, embarrassing me. Yup, it's all part of life. Me and my sister had the same bond you and your sister had -- making up fun games, and having a great time together. One thing I do when I have friends over is set aside a half an hour or so just for my sister to play with us. We usually play games we can all do together, like house, or a board game. As far as the phone goes, I usually go to a place where is quiet and private, like my room, or backyard. If your sister is bugging you, try telling an adult if one is home, and hopefully he or she could distract her while you're chit-chatting. Good luck!!
--Emily, IML Mentor
There are three good solutions to your problem, so you can choose whichever you like. The first is to spend more time with your sister. It sounds to me like she's feeling kind of abandoned by you, so even spending an hour a day just playing with her might cause her to be less embarrassing around your friends. The second, which you can use along with the first, is to sit down with her and tell her how embarrassing you in front of your friends makes you feel. She's at least six by now, so she should understand and hopefully not do it as often. Finally, as a last resort, you can always tell your parents what's going on -- though you should do it calmly, and not try to sound like you're tattling on her. I would only recommend this as a last resort, since you could also cause her to become more angry with you for "tattling." Good luck, and I hope I helped!
--Sarah, IML Mentor
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?
Oh wow, I feel your pain! I'm 17 and my sister is 5 so I know what happens when little kids invade your room! Here are some things that I did to ease the pain. First, I told my mom away from home, in the car or something so as to not hurt any little person's feelings, that I felt very invaded when others just barged in. I asked her to instill a "knock first" policy, and while it took a while to stick, if you keep KINDLY (I find that nagging produces poor results) reminding your family about it, eventually it becomes second nature. I also find that if you take a few moments each day to hang out with your little siblings in their room or in the family room, they're less likely to come invade your space later in the day. The other thing I made clear was that if my sister were to come into my room and make a mess, she or my mom would have to be responsible for cleaning it up. After a few times of having to clean up her mess, my sister started to get sick of coming in my room. If they do invade, don't start yelling because for some little kids that will just make them want to stay longer; instead, usher them out calmly and say something like, "Let's go play with this in the living room." Yes, it's annoying to have to stop what you're doing, but if you distract them it's usually worth it, then you can go back into your room while they play and have some peace. Stay cool...I know it's tough but it's so much less stressful to approach the situation calmly! GOOD LUCK!
--Stormie, IML Mentor
It sounds like you are really frustrated with your dad. That is totally understandable and everyone feels that way sometimes. Being an only child, I don't know exactly how you are feeling, but I do know what it is like to have parents barging into your room when they are not wanted. The best way to cure your problem is to just talk to your dad. A lot of times, parents do not realize what they are doing is upsetting their kids so the problem never really goes away. Sit down with your dad and explain how and why what he is doing is upsetting you. Make sure you stay calm and collected when you talk to him, that way he will take you more seriously and not think you're just complaining about some kid thing. Also, maybe the reason behind your dad letting in your sisters all the time is because he wants you to be with them and for the three of you to form a closer relationship. Maybe you could offer to set a side a special time every day that you could be with them and some time that you want to be left alone. Hope everything goes well for you!
--Joy, IML Mentor
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. Although she's very talented in many areas, it seems like people at school (like teachers) and even relatives don't acknowledge her enough because I'm in the way. She sometimes gets upset to the point of crying and acting out, saying things she can do better than me, and I feel terrible about this -- she's my sister and I want her to love herself, too! I can't change who I am, but I feel so guilty for always being considered so perfect, because I'm definitely not. I feel like I'm the source of all of this...Please help!
It sounds like you're really concerned about your sister. The fact that you're so worried about her shows how much you care for her. I know that you said that she has many talents, but a lot of times people are blind to their good points and only focus on where they don't measure up to others, especially if the people around them are very talented and special like yourself. I can't vouch for your sister, but from what you say it sounds like your sister is really frustrated with herself. She might be jealous of you and have a self-esteem issue because of that. If she does have a self-esteem issue, then that would explain why she might be having such extreme emotions like lashing out and crying. The best way you can help your sister is by just reminding her of all her good points and how much you love her. Also, you might want to consider talking to your parents about the situation and tell them how you're worried about your sister and how maybe they could spend some extra time with her. Maybe your whole family could go out and do something that she's really good at and give her a little self-esteem boost. Keep trying to communicate with your sister. I hope everything works out for you and your sister.
--Joy, IML Mentor
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