Help me tame a mean li'l sis

My li’l sis just turned ten and most of the time she is two-faced.  One day she will be super excited about something and be super happy and nice to me that day. Otherwise she is plain mean and very selfish.  She won't even give me a hug! This summer I have to watch her all the time.  I've tried telling her she’s mean, but sometimes it turns into me yelling and being mean, too. I want her to see my side so the summer goes smoothly. What should I do to make my sister sweet all the time?

Dealing with difficult sibs is, well, difficult. It’s hard to stay rational and nice when they’re refusing to be anything sweeter than downright rude. Do your best to keep your cool, chica, and follow our tips to taking your relationship from rocky to rockin’.

Stay calm
Instead of getting angry, take a deep breath and count to 10 (or 20). Then talk it out. Ask her why she’s behaving the way she is and tell her that the things she says and does make you really sad. Don’t simply say, “Gosh, I wish you would stop being so mean!” Get specific: “When you call me dumb, it makes me not want to be around you, but I love hanging out. Can we agree to not call each other mean names?”

Support her

When younger sibs go from sweet to sour, it’s often because they see themselves as not measuring up to the standards you, as the older child, set. They see you getting lots of attention for acing a test or scoring a winning goal, and they act out because they don’t receive the same praise, or they feel like they just can’t measure up. If you’re so perfect, how can they possibly compete?

To combat this mentality, you’ve gotta start being your baby sister’s biggest cheerleader. Tell her how awesome it is when she gets a 100 percent on her spelling test. Compliment her cute new skirt. Do things that make her feel good and reward her for sweet behavior. She’ll love the attention and start yearning for more…and to get it, she’ll put her best foot forward.

Gain some authority
Like it or not, you’re the head honcho this summer, and to keep you both safe, what you say needs to be law. This isn’t a chance for you to abuse big-sister privileges, but you do need to have Mom and Dad make it clear to your sister that you’re in charge. To make life easier, call a family meeting—not to accuse your sister of being mean, but to simply suggest that everyone agrees on some ground rules. Things like T.V. time, chores and having friends over need to be discussed by everyone.

Good luck, girl!

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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016
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