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I wanna help my sensitive sister, but I don't know how

My 9 year-old sister is very sensitive and whines and cries about little things. I want to help her but I don't know how.

As someone who also has a younger sib, I totally know how you’re feeling. It can be difficult having to deal with someone that isn’t even close to your maturity level yet they’re your sibling, so you can’t completely disregard their existence! All jokes aside, you will constantly encounter people in your life that are not mature enough to relate to you or are in need of your guidance. GL has some great ways to help you deal with your struggle.

Get on her level
First, put yourself in her shoes. It’s one of the most clichéd phrases in the book but also one of the most valuable. In your case, understand where your 9-year-old sister is coming from. She’s going through her first years of elementary school, and she has to watch you grow and succeed as the more mature child. That kind of pressure could cause anyone to be upset and angered by little things. By understanding her point of view, it may help you to put her behavior in perspective.

Fix it!
It’s easy to whine and cry all day, but fixing the problem is an obvious (and sometimes totally easy) way to dry up those tears. The next time your sis is upset about something, sit down with her and talk to her like a grown-up. Reason out why she’s crying, then talk about why whatever happened made her so angry, sad or frustrated. When you’ve got her talking, start brainstorming some ways to fix the sitch. She’ll latch on to the practical aspect of solving the problem instead of bemoaning its existence.

Dealing with it
The next step in helping your sister is to give her some attention—the same sort your parents might be showering on you for an A+ on your last geometry test. No matter what kind of accomplishment it is, tell her how proud you are of her. Especially when she acts more mature, commend her upon that. It’s important that she hears praise for the good things she does as oppose to anger about the negative.

Chat with the ‘rents
Another great way to pull your sister out of her slump is to chat it up with your parents. Tell them how you’re feeling and come up with a way to make your sister not feel like such a baby. Reward her for her good behavior and make it clear that her attitude plays a big part in the way that people treat her. It’s not going to happen overnight but with time, she will become more of a friend rather than your baby sis.

BY CHELSEA BECKER ON 5/25/2011 1:00:00 PM


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