July 25, 2013 WHEN YOUR SISTER STEALS YOUR PHONE OR TABLET This question comes from Amelia, who writes: How do you keep your bratty big sister off of your phone/computer/tablet? My Advice: Hi Amelia! This is a question that I can TOTALLY relate to, except in my case, it’s a bratty LITTLE sister! Brianna is ALWAYS stealing my phone. One time she actually fell asleep hugging it, like it was her doll or something, and when I asked her about it, she said, “Miss Penelope was lonely!” (Which kind of makes sense I guess…a phone IS a hand’s best friend!) I have two main suggestions for you: The first one: passwords!! If you set passwords on your phone, computer, and tablet, she can try to steal them all she wants, but she won’t be able to use them. (Unless she’s like Brianna and just feels cool holding it…but I’m guessing since your sister’s older, she’s not the fall-asleep-hugging-a-phone-and-sucking-her-thumb type!) If she STILL takes your stuff (maybe because your parents tell you that you have to share) you could try the sneaky-I’m-on-your-side approach. That works a little something like this: Your sister takes your tablet. You want to rip it out of her hands and say, “Hey, I have an idea! Get your own and leave my stuff alone!” But INSTEAD you can say, “Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we get my mom and dad to get an extra one so then we BOTH can have one! You TOTALLY deserve your own! I’d even give a week’s allowance to the cause!” I know what you might be thinking…why should I give MY allowance so SHE can get a tablet? That’s why this is called the SNEAKY-I’m-on-your-side-approach. If you tell your parents you’re willing to help her get her own, they may be SO proud of you that they buy another and don’t even take your money! (If they DO take your allowance, well, it’s just one week and it will make your life SO much easier!) And if they say, “Not happening, just share yours!” your sister will probably still be super grateful that you were willing to help her. That might make HER a lot more sensitive to what YOU need and want, so when you say, “Hey, you can use it for a half-hour then I need it,” she’ll be cool about it! I know, you probably would much rather it just sits safely in your room when you’re not using it. (I consider my top drawer my phone’s bed…and I love knowing it’s safely tucked in when I’m away!) But hey, what’s better: her using your stuff on YOUR terms, or her taking your stuff whenever she wants it because she thinks YOU’RE the bratty sister who won’t share? What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Amelia?