Keeping things sweet with your siblings

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How do you get your brother to stop embarrassing you in front of your friends? Why does your sister barge into your room? Don’t worry. Everyone – from your parents to your favourite film stars – can recount tons of times they argued with their brothers or sisters. Sibling rivalry is a natural part of family relationships, and is easy to deal with.

The best way to get your point across when dealing with your brother or sister is to explain your feelings in a calm, mature manner. Maybe ask your mum or dad to be a neutral listener. Be fair. It isn’t acceptable, for instance, to expect your brother to stay in his room when your friends are over. After all, it’s his house too!

Be gentle with younger siblings
The chances are they are acting up to get your attention. Think about it. Now that you have more grown-up interests, have you been spending less and less time around your brother? Explain your need for privacy with your friends but make sure he also understands that you still love him and want to spend some time with him. Which leads us onto…

Make a special date
Plan some one-on-one time with them. Maybe you can help your younger sister with her hair, or take your brother shopping. They probably value your opinions when it comes to clothes, friends, and music.

Show mutual respect
Remember, you aren’t the only one with needs. Your younger siblings will also have some bones to pick with you. Do you hog the computer? Do you play loud music, making it difficult for your brother to concentrate on his homework? Do you tease him and call him names in front of your friends? The age-old saying applies: ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated.’

Share a project
You may think you have nothing in common but you do…your parents! Why not work together on a birthday present or anniversary card for your mum, dad, or other family member?

Give them a break
What’s so terrible about letting your brother or sister in your room with you and your friends for a while? They are just curious about what you are about. If you let them hang around a bit, the mystery will disappear, and before you know it, they will be off doing their own thing.

Remember to hug
The loving family relationships you develop now can last a lifetime. Take the time to cuddle and hug. Watch a movie together. It may seem like nothing now, but in years to come, you’ll be so glad you have a brother or sister to lean on.

Fighting is ok as long as you make up
It is impossible to expect you’ll never argue. And sometimes, your arguments will even be unbelievably horrible. If you find you completely lose your temper, take time to cool off. Then go and work it out. A good rule for life is to never go to sleep angry!

Being Girl



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