Dear Carol

Dear Carol: "How do I get my sister to stop copying me?"

Dear Carol,
My sister is getting on my nerves! She is 9 years old and won’t stop copying me. I’m 12, and she gets the same privileges as me. If I get a pair of shoes, she wants them. She copies my wallpaper on my phone. The way I organize my room. The way I dress. The way I talk. I could go on and on and on. She is trying to be me. I tell her I don’t like it and she should do what she wants to do and not what I want to do. I told my parents and they talked to her, but it didn’t work. Now they ignore it, but I can’t. The most recent thing was that I said I wanted to get a haircut. My sister said, “I want a haircut, too! I want it the length you’re getting!” Ughhhh.
—Sister Blister

Dear Sister Blister,
This phase will pass, and you two will be sisters forever. Since you can’t change her behavior, can you try to change your reaction? Her adulation may be annoying, but I promise she will grow out of this. So rather than fussing at her for copying you, try complimenting her to help her develop more confidence. (“That’s a great color on you.” “How did you make these cinnamon muffins?” “You’re getting to be a really good skater.”) And spend a few afternoons during vacation at friends’ homes so you can have a little sister-free space.

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by GL | 3/9/2020