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.
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!
I know how you feel not because I was in your shoes but because I was in your brother's shoes. I'm the youngest child of three, and I used to annoy my older brother and sister all the time. It was because I was afraid they would replace me with their friends. What they did with me (and what I recommend doing with him) was just spending time with me. Ask your brother why he's doing things like playing pranks on you and embarrassing you. He might not even realize that he's embarrassing you and he may just want your attention. Then you two can set some special time every week where you two can hang out and do what he likes to do. No matter how annoying our family can be, they are still our family and in the end you love them and care about them. Just make sure he knows that friends come and go but he will always be your brother and that you love him no matter how annoying he gets. :D
--CinKay, IML Mentor
Man, that’s a tough situation! The first piece of advice I will give you: Don’t fight him by being mean back. It will only encourage him as he sees that he’s getting a reaction. If you have friends over and he annoys you, do your best to ignore him -- don’t yell at him, don’t say anything, don’t even turn your head. If you have to, leave the room or leave the house. As for your mom: (1) If your brother’s pranks leave physical evidence, save the evidence and show it to her. (2) She probably suspects something’s up, because by the sound of the letter, you’re pretty miserable. Try telling her again, and really insist that he’s being mean to you. Persuade her to listen; write a note if you have to, because in the end, you will probably need her help. It’s very hard to fight a battle on your own. I wish you the best of luck.
--Yulia, IML Mentor
Younger brothers can definitely be a handful. I have three who have done everything from slipping hot sauce into my food to yelling my crush's name when he didn't see me at the pool. Usually they do this so that they can get a laugh at my expense. The best thing to do is to let them know that what they're doing doesn't affect you. Make sure that when your brother tries to annoy you, you stay calm. Smile instead of getting angry, take a break from whatever you're doing to relieve some pressure, but don't react. Soon he'll become bored and move on.
--Sarah C., IML Mentor
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?
While siblings can be a major pain, they'll always be a part of you, whether you like it or not. And although you have differences, you probably have a few things in common too! Is there a video game you both like? A movie? Do you both enjoy biking? Maybe hiking or swimming? It can be anything really. Try doing some off these activities together. And there's always good old family bonding night! Pick a night, rent a movie, pop some popcorn and relax! Hope this helps!
--Nikola, IML Mentor
In any relationship, no matter who it's with — a friend, family member or "significant other" — communication is key, and I can't stress that enough. What you need to do is catch your brother when he's really relaxed or in a more serious mood, sit down with him and tell him about how much it bugs you that you guys fight. You may learn something you weren't aware of! My little brother and I are often at each other's throats, but at the end of the day I love him like crazy and do feel close to him. It could be that he feels the same way about you, and just assumes that you already know that. You can't know that, though, or make things better until you sit down with him and tell him how you feel. After you do that, you have to put in a little extra effort yourself — don't put it all on his shoulders to make you two closer. When he calls you names, you can either laugh about it or walk away if you can't laugh. You can do your best to treat him nicely all the time. Hopefully, he'll pick up on it. Good luck to you!
--Sarah, IML Mentor
Me and my older brother and even me and my older sister were always fighting. I was right around your age when I decided I had enough of it. I decided to just meet a common ground with my siblings. That's what I recommend. Try explaining to your brother that you don't want to fight anymore. He's your older brother so I'm guessing he's probably getting tired of it too. Tell him what's bugging you and he can tell you what's bugging him. Then try to find something you guys have in common. Now I know you're thinking, "Me and my brother have nothing in common." Well, see if you can bend a little. If he likes video games and you like music, maybe play a few video games with him and then in return he can listen to music with you. Or have a movie night once a week or once a month, alternating who gets to pick the movie. The main word with getting along with your brother is compromise. He bends for you and in return you bend for him. Good luck! :)
--CinKay, IML Mentor
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?
It sounds like you've tried to go every sensible route and be as mature as possible. Since it hasn't worked, I'd suggest going to a parent and explaining -- in a mature, calm way -- that your brother is really getting on your case, that you've asked him to stop and he refuses, and that it's bothering you and you need some help. If he was just teasing you I would say to just ignore him, but your problem sounds worse than that, as he does things such as finding out your secrets and then using them to get a laugh out of his friends. It's okay to get help from adults around you sometimes, especially when you've used up all of your other options. Good luck, and I hope I helped!
--Sarah, IML Mentor
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