How to be an Influential big Sister
By Maryann Y.
Hey, we’ve all been there. You have a younger sister or brother who suddenly grows up and won’t listen to your advice anymore. They used to listen to everything you said, repeat everything you said, do everything you said, and then (seemingly overnight) you no longer matter and what their friends or whoever thinks is way more important than you. Sometimes they even pretend you don’t exist, and ignore you. When this happens, how do you be that Big Sister that you hear about or see in movies? She has it all together, she and her siblings are best friends, and they follow her beck and call in a moment. Wait, what?
First of all, there are no perfect sibling relationships. You WILL have fights and disagreements. Second, you have the right to choose; will you fight those petty little fights, turn mountains into mole hills, and leave deep roots of bitterness in your heart? Or will you be a peacemaker and forgive and forget, overlooking the shortcomings and all in all making everyone's lives a whole lot easier?
John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: Just as I love you, so also you must love one another.” Have you been quarreling or working it out and loving each other?
My sister and I don’t get along perfectly by a long shot. She is extroverted and tomboyish, loving close cropped hair cuts and sleeping in, while I am definitely introverted, love purple, pink, and frills, have everything neat and tidy, and get up after the crack of dawn to make breakfast or hurry and finish my school work.
We share a room, and her side is usually the natural disaster, and mine the assorted bins and frilly covers. She is loud and rambunctious and I am quiet. As you can see, pretty much opposites.
I was to be at a loss when she hit the independence stage(and in some ways still am). At the innocent age of 6 my opinion rating in her eyes went to near zero, and I was suddenly no fun to be around. Now she’s 8, and it’s still the same. BUT there is hope for your relationship!
I have found ways to spend time with her doing what she loves to do. I taught myself to do cartwheels (after nearly breaking my neck) for the sole reason of knowing she wanted to learn. I read The Bobbsey Twins books to her and let her stay up a bit late so she can color all over some random piece of paper before we flip the light off. Find something she (or he) loves doing and even if you don’t necessarily enjoy it. Overcome the fear of water slides and chemistry, or the so called ‘boringness’ of hikes and MineCraft to spend quality time with them. Think of funny jokes they would like, or really, do with them anything they like doing, and teach them things through it.
And when disaster does strike, and you have that fight, don’t escalate it. See how you have erred and apologize. Tell them you’re sorry and make a comprimise.
I would like to suggest a book to you; it’s called ‘Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends: How to fight the GOOD Fight at Home!’ I love this book! It is so funny and I identify with it so much! It was written by three young siblings (21, 16, and 12 if I remember correctly) who had this problem. I would seriously recommend this! Really!
Final thought: Put what they want first; allow them to tell the big news first, and get that joke in. Let them pick the movie and choose dinner, JUST put them first. It won’t go unnoticed.