What do you do if your sister wants to BE you!?
MADIE says her younger sister wants to join us here on the blog and she doesn't want her to because this is her little place where she can come and vent all her pent-up anger. And it isn't just a Tween You and Me account Kid Sister has to have just like Madie. An American Girl doll. An iPod. The list goes on.
Madie asked if anybody else felt that way, and the answer was YES!!
EVE says her sister wants her ears pierced like Eve's, even though she hasn't reached the age where her parents will let her. When EVE buys things for herself or receives gifts, her sister gets jealous. KYLIE's right there with her. She got a phone when she was 11, and her sister got one when she was 9. How fair is that, right?
LARISSA piped up as the youngest sister in her family, saying, yeah, she wants a laptop like her older siblings have, but she won't get one until high school. And she's all for Madie letting her sister join us here so maybe they can understand each other better.
Obviously your birth order (that's what they call being the youngest,the oldest, the middle child) has a lot to do with your point of view! When you're one of the older sisters, you seem to have more responsibility so it seems only fair that you should also have more privileges. Well, fair to YOU. As a younger sister, you see your older sister getting to do all this cool stuff and you think, "Why not me?" That's the way it works. The question is, how do you deal with it?
KYLIE's mother has tried to tell her that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and she's right. When Taylor Swift wore her hair all curly and not combed out, that became the trend for a whole generation of girls. Back when I was your age (I hope you don't hate it when I say that!) we all wanted long straight hair parted in the middle like Cher (I looked like an afghan dog with my hair like that ...) Your mom might have tried to copy .. well, why don't you ask her who? We do that because we admire those people and want to be like them. (That's called "emulating" them.) So it makes sense that your younger sisters would look up to you and want to do what you do and have what you have. When you think of it that way, it's kind of like, "Wow, I'm her role model. I better clean up my act!" Feels kind of good, actually.
And then, it doesn't. KYLIE really doesn't like to be copied. MADIE says it drives her crazy. That makes sense too. You're trying to figure out who you are right now. Part of you wants to look like your friends so you'll fit in, and part of you wants to be unique (which you are already). So when a sister copies you or wants all the stuff you have, it keeps you from feeling like a one-of-kind person. That's why you get mad, even if you don't realize it. And then the "snapping" (as Madie calls it) begins.
Again, what do you do about that? Here are a few suggestions that I hope will help.
(1) Pray about the situation in your Talking To God Journal. Pour it all out to God -- all that anger and funkyness -- the frustration -- the guilt after you go off on Sis. As usual, you may not get answers right away, but over time, God will reveal some wisdom for you. I've never had it fail yet.
(2) While you're at it, pray for your sister. She's trying to figure out who she is, too, but being younger she can't quite see that yet. Pray for God to show her who she is, because when she figures that out, she won't want to be YOU anymore.
(3) Focus on being your unique self. You can't change another person, but you can always work on you. If both of you got American Girl dolls, for example (I love them SO much!), set your mind on what YOU do with Molly or Felicity or whoever and try to forget about what Little Sister does with hers. When Marijean started her collection at age 9, she was all about changing Molly's clothes and taking her wherever she went. When she was 11 and had Felicity and Addie in the mix, she was more into reading the books and acting out the stories with her friends, who had Samantha dolls. If your little sister has her ears pierced too, let your earring collection be an expression of who you are and what you like. If she gets an iPod like you, create your own playlist, music that rocks you and inspires you. If you've got your mind on being your unique self, you won't have the time or space to worry about whether your sister is copying you.
(4) Point out to your sister what HER individual qualities are -- what makes her different from you. Is she way more artistic? More athletic? Better at math? Encourage her in those areas. Make a big deal out of her accomplishments.
(5) Do NOT compete with her. Ever. At all. Not unless it's a friendly competition to see who gets her chores done first. But working just to make better grades than she does, or to be a better soccer player, or get more of your dad's attention -- that's not biblical, it's not godly - and it only makes you miserable, whether you win or lose. When Jesus talked to the disciples that last night before he died (see the Gospel of John), he didn't say, "I want you to spend your time trying to out-do each other. I want you to try to be better than your brother or friend." He said, "Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus didn't try to be better than everybody else (he actually already was!) He tried to show people that they could be better than they were. Just sayin.
If you want to post a comment today, tell us how this might work with anybody who copies you -- sister, friend, cousin, a girl you aren't particularly fond of.
AND, tell us about any issues you have with BROTHERS. We're going to deal with THOSE creatures next!