February 7, 2015 Oh Brother! Sup Brandon! I share a room with my little brother and we basically get along. The problem is now that I’m older it’s really embarrassing having my friends over. Our room is filled with stupid kiddie stuff, and whenever I try to chill out with my friends, I have no privacy. I love my brother but enough is enough. How do I get my own space, have a little privacy, and ditch my little brother? Bothered by Brother Dear Bothered by Brother, That’s got to be rough to have to share a room with your little bro. I don’t have a brother, though I’d love it if I did – but I’d want to love him from down the hall, in a separate room without LEGOS and GI Joes on the floor. The way I see it, you have three options: Find a way to get your own room. Find a way for him to get his own room. Create some kind of system for fair use of the room. I’m guessing 1 and 2 might not be options; otherwise, you’d probably already have your own rooms. But maybe there’s a basement or an attic that your parents would let you use. And that could actually be kind of cool, since you’d be away from the main house. (Much better for having friends over.) Or, if your parents have a little office that would be better for a smaller kid, maybe they’d let your brother move in there. They might not want to give up any of their space, but you could explain that you’re getting older and you need your privacy. You could also tell them that you love your brother, but you think you might become resentful if you don’t have adequate boundaries and space from each other. When you put it that way, your parents will probably get how you feel, since it’s pretty mature, and anyone would feel like that if they were in your shoes – including them. If you can’t get separate rooms and you have to go with the third option, maybe you could ask your parents for some kind of partition to separate the room. They could get one of those dividers or freestanding folding screens you can have a little privacy when you have friends over. Then you can decorate your side how you want, and your brother can keep all of his trucks and Transformers on his side. And if that’s not an option, then all you can do is come up with a plan for who uses it when. For example, you could tell your brother that on Mondays and Wednesdays, he needs to stay in the living room after school, but he can have the room on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Since he’s young and he probably looks up to you (and may want to hang out with you and your friends), he might not agree to this. Or, he might agree to it but then when you have friends over, run in every five minutes for random things he forgot but claims to need right now – like a sock, a rock, or a piece of string that he left under his pillow. But if you tell him you’ll play with him after your friends leave, he’ll probably be cooler about it. I hope this helps!