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I'm a 13-year-old guy and I have a 9-year-old sister. We've argued for as long as I can remember, we argue about 5 times per day. My mum and dad can't take it anymore.

I try my hardest to be nice to my sister, but she just refuses to co-operate with me. I admit that I am a control freak, but I try and do nice things for her like suggest stuff to do, try to spend time with her, but she just says stuff like go away or that's boring.

Whenever something bad happens and I'm there she blames it on me. We were playing in the pool the other day and I tugged her arm gently to get her attention and she ended up cutting her finger and said that it was my fault and my parents don't believe me.

I'm unhappy, I moved schools and had to go down a year, my classmates are so immature, I never see my old friends.

I feel like running away.

UPDATE

Thank you all for your advice, it's really helped me and you don't know how much it means to me!

  • 3
    Have you talked to anyone, in-person, about how you feel? Your parents, a school counselor, or some sort of mentor or therapist? Honestly explaining how you're feeling, rather than how what happened (he-said, she-said kind of stuff), may alert the people in your life that you need some extra support. – user11394 May 9 '15 at 8:28
  • Wanting to run away is normal for children, especially during the teen years. Just hang in there and things will work themselves out. If you or your sister leave the home for a long time, such as you going to college, you will have a much better relationship afterward. The lack of seeing each other every day will result in missing each other, so when you come home from college you will probably be on better terms. – Towell May 9 '15 at 16:00
  • Typical sibling rivalry their . this is normal believe me things will change when you guys are grown up but for right now I wouid talk to a counselor. – Tracey May 18 '15 at 1:08
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Dealing with a sibling is tough, especially if you've got a long-established tradition of fighting. It's easy to interact poorly because you've been doing it your whole lives.

Keep calm. It's hard to yell at somebody who doesn't yell back. It's hard to yell at somebody who puts up their hands and says, "You know what, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this to turn into an argument, I'll leave you alone." Apologize even if you're not in the wrong (not necessarily taking whatever perceived blame, but for the fact that there was a misunderstanding) and try to defuse the situation.

Walk away when things get bad, or if it looks like a conversation is going downhill. Once you start getting sucked into disputing who did what, it's never going to end well. This is incredibly challenging for most people, including adults. You want to feel like you're right, and the other person therefore needs to admit that she's wrong, and if you just argue long enough surely that will happen. Unfortunately, she's approaching it the same way, and I bet your arguments just end up going in "he-said she-said" circles constantly.

Especially since you admit you're a control freak, be mindful of whether you're asking for input or subtly pushing your own preferences. When you suggest stuff to do, are you saying "What TV show do you want to watch" (which invites input) or "Do you want to watch Robot Super Blast with me" (which tells her you've already decided on the activity).


Talk to your parents. You seem frustrated with a lot of different situations, not just your sister. Focus on feelings first, specifics only if you need to -- if it comes off as just blaming her for all your conflict, that isn't going to be well received. Feeling lonely and isolated from your recent move is very normal, and while they can't necessarily fix everything, bringing that to their attention may motivate them to arrange more time for you to see your old friends (or something). Also, they need to help act as mediators between you and your sister. You're still both kids, and any teenager is going to be annoyed and frustrated and unhappy and angry sometimes -- none of those are emotional states that make a younger sibling easier to deal with. Enlist their help in keeping the peace: if they see a conversation spiraling out of control, have them (calmly) separate you and let your tempers cool off.

Find somebody else to talk to. Maybe there's something you don't want to tell your parents, or you want to just complain for a while how it's so unfair that they always take her side. Find somebody to talk to. A school counselor or therapist would be a good possibility because they are specifically trained (1) to listen, and (2) to help you learn coping mechanisms to get through frustrating situations. A favorite uncle or family friend is also a great resource, because they may be familiar with how you and your sister fight but removed enough that they can provide perspective.

  • Thank You Erica. I will really make an effort, I'll let you know how it goes. I really appreciate the advice! – Luca May 9 '15 at 14:28
  • It's a process and ongoing struggle, but hopefully it will be effective. Best of luck. – Acire May 9 '15 at 15:11
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I seem to remember a quote from The Art Of War (Sun Tzu) that went something like, "The only way to win against an enemy you cannot defeat is to deny them battle." That's from an old memory, so I ask the Sun Tzu faithful to grant me leeway in paraphrasing the quote. If you can't win, then don't fight, don't even start fighting. Recognize those situations that cause conflict and avoid them. There's no way to avoid those situations 100% but even a reduction in the number of conflicts will go a long way to giving you and your parents some peace. If it looks like it's about to go bad, and if you're able to, drop it and walk away. I'm not saying that you shouldn't stand up for yourself or what's right, just choose your battles carefully. They're not all worth fighting.

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