Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I'm getting sick of dealing with my sister"

Dear Carol, 

My little sister is unbearable! She follows me around and won’t let me have any time to myself. For example, when I’m with my friends, she won’t leave us alone. I’ve tried to get her to leave by suggesting other things for her to do or pointing out some friends she could hang out with, but she still won’t go. I’ve also tried gently explaining why I would like for her to leave, but she always just yells at me and says that I never include her. Then she runs to my parents—and I’m the one who gets in trouble. I don’t even get why she wants to hang out with me because she is insanely popular! I just want her to understand that sometimes I want time to myself or with my friends. Does that make me a bad sister?

- Sick Of My Sister

Dear Sick Of My Sister,

You are not a bad sister. You sound like a sensitive sister, and I get that you want some time by yourself or with your friends without her. Can you meet at their houses or at public places? Can you encourage your sister to plan something with her friends when you’re seeing your friends? If she plays a sport or has a lesson on, say, Tuesdays, then keep in mind that Tuesdays are an extra good day for you to invite friends over. I don’t blame your sister for wanting to hang out with you. Older sisters are irresistibly intriguing. As for enlisting parental help, talk before things get tense. Instead of, “Tell Maya to butt out and leave us alone!” say, “I’m having friends over Saturday, and it would help me if Maya had something going on.” In the long run, your sibling age difference will feel less significant, and sisters getting along is a win-win—so try to find some fun things you can do together. Maybe bake pumpkin muffins or decorate your house for Halloween?

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including Speed of Life, Ava and Pip and Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You. Learn more at and on Instagram @carolwestonnyc.

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by GL | 10/11/2023