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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Hormones or What?! - April 17th 2011, 09:22 PM

My sister, who is 14 going on 15, and I have always gotten along great. I love her to bits, and we're typically very close. However, lately she's been horribly annoying, selfish, and conceited. She's spoiled rotten, as has always been the case. But she's the baby of the family, so there's no real surprise there. We're not usually jealous of each other; we are usually pretty able to accept that we're two extremely different people with their own strengths and weaknesses. Yet she seems to have forgotten that as of late.

My sister has really been acting out (whining, throwing temper tantrums, etc.), and my parents keep making excuses for her:

"Oh, she's stressed at school."
"Oh, she's having friend problems."
"I think she's nervous about that dance coming up."

The thing with my sister is, she can be screwed up without actually being perceived as screwed up. She's the angel, the perfect one. If I had ever done any of these things at her age, I would have gotten it. So why is it okay for her to do these things now? It's embarrassing. She's gotten to an age where it's not cute any longer.

On top of that, she's a straight A student, and ever since she started high school (she's a freshman), she's loved rubbing that in my face. Alright, so I'm not a perfect student, but I do well. I get mostly As and a couple Bs, usually. During my freshman year, I didn't do so well, as I was really struggling with my depression. I got some Cs that year, but my grades have been good since I've entered recovery.

She never wants to talk about anything anymore. She sits up in her room and plays video games all day. If I try to even say hello, I get screamed at and told to go away. I'll do something she doesn't like and she won't say anything, but then she will use it against me later. If she doesn't want me to do something she can at least tell me! Otherwise how am I supposed to know it's bugging her?!

She loves to put me down all of a sudden: the way I dress, the way I talk, my religious beliefs (I'm an atheist, she's a Catholic, and she's never been able to accept it)... everything! Like, what? She talks like she's so much better than I am, and I don't understand it because she's always been such a sweet girl.

I guess she's growing up. But how should I approach her about this? I want to talk to her, but I don't want to tick her off (again), either. What should I say? Also, what can I say to my parents to try to get them to stop defending her poor behavior so much? They're really not doing her any justice.

Any input would be appreciated! Thanks, guys!

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April 18th 2011, 04:16 AM

Hey there,

You're right, it is a case of going through puberty and having unstable personality phases. This is something you can't really control so don't be so hard on yourself or on her if you can't make the situation any better. Though it seems that her case is a lot better than others. I've seen really innocent girls turn into polar opposites. Your sister is still getting straight A's.

You really just need to continue to shower her with kindness. Your parents' tone and attitude are correct. Give her patience. She's in her own bubble right now and she can't really understand her behaviorial changes or how she's affecting other people. She needs the luxury of being treated nicely because once she grows out of this phase, she'll remember her teenage years and begin to appreciate your kindness towards her.

Growing up really is a messy process.

And try not to let those comments bother you. It's hard to believe but she's a teenager going through puberty - and so you shouldn't take anything she says seriously.

I have a cousin who was around the same age; he was terribly incompatible with me and he did some really hurtful things. Now we're both in our 20s and things have changed drastically. We treat each other with respect and etc.

Don't give up and don't be too worried about her behavior right now. If she's doing drugs and deviating from her former self in a severe manner, then you should leave it to your parents to do something about it.

(Sorry for posting in twos, I seem to have run-on thinking)

Last edited by SparklingWine; April 18th 2011 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
   
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Re: Hormones or What?! - April 18th 2011, 04:59 AM

Kylie,

It's natural for her to act out like this, as she is growing up. Though, it's not justified by any means. I think that you could do some good by talking to both her, and your parents. It sounds like you're already planning to do that, it's just knowing what to say and how to say it. I have three options for you. First, you can talk to your sister when she is a good mood. Tell her that you used to be very close, and that lately you feel like all she does is put you down. Give her examples of the things that she says, so that she doesn't try and deny it. Tell her how it makes you feel when she does do those things. I don't think you should talk to her about her tantrums and fits, because then she might just get mad. Just talk to her about how her putting you down makes you feel and ask if she would consider stopping. You might have to show a little vulnerability with her so she gets it.

Second, talking to your parents. I think it's worth a shot to sit down with your parents and tell them how you feel. I have a brother, and my mom is the same exact way with him that your parents are with your sister. When I talk to my mom, I tell her what I notice and what I don't think is fair. I also mention to her that I feel it's unfair because if I were to do the same thing, I would be in loads more trouble. Again, give them example of the behavior that you witness and feel is unfair. Tell them that you understand that she is growing up, but you sometimes feel like the way you are being treated is unfair. The reason why they are so easy on her is because they might not want to deal with her tantrums, so it's easier to just let it go and make excuses. It isn't right, but it's possible.

The third and final thing that I'm going to suggest is a family meeting. I would bring it up with your parents. You can write down a list of topics that you want bring up in the family meeting. And by having a family meeting, everyone can get out what they want to say, and there will be nothing left unsaid. If you do this, hopefully you and your family can come to a resolution and improve the situation. You just need to be honest, and like above said- try to not let her comments get to you. She is growing up, and I doubt she means it. She loves you. You two are really close, so that has to mean something.

Hope this helped!


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Re: Hormones or What?! - April 18th 2011, 02:12 PM

Dystorsion: Thanks for your advice. Growing up is a messy process, indeed. I know that I myself was pretty stubborn and unyielding as a 14-year-old, so I can understand a bit of what she is going through. The thing about my sister is, if she knows that she can get away with things and even get people to treat her kindly by doing them, she will keep repeating these actions. I love my sister dearly, but she is a bit of an attention seeker, as was I at her age. But my parents put their foot down with me and (not unreasonably) let me know that my actions weren't acceptable. Looking back, I'm glad they instilled such values in me at an early age, even if I didn't completely understand their motives at the time.

Like you, I feel that having patience with teenagers is important, but I feel there must be a line drawn somewhere. I don't believe that treating people disrespectfully (which she has been doing lately, to myself, her friends, and some teachers) is pardonable at any age. I don't want to be unreasonably cruel to her, of course, as I know this isn't entirely her fault. However, I do think a bit of discipline is justified in this case.

Thank you again for your advice, though! I truly appreciate it.

Lyndsee: Thank you for your advice as well. You're probably right that I should confront her about what she has done to upset me personally. I'm not her mother, obviously, so I'll leave the tantrums and the like for my parents to deal with. I did have a talk with my mom, and she agreed that she has been a bit too soft with my sister lately. She said it's easier to let things slide than to deal with them, but she agreed with me that my sister is a great girl and that she should display her positive attributes for everyone to see. She isn't a bad kid; I don't want other people to think she is just because she's going through a difficult phase.

I'll have a talk with my sister about what she's done to upset me. Your idea of a family meeting is also a good one, so thank you. I know my sister loves me, and I love her a lot too.

Take care, guys!
   
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