Hey Nikki! I love my parents, but sometimes it feels like they love my younger sister more than me. I can’t stop feeling jealous about it! I sometimes even feel like I should run away. That way, they’ll be happier without me there. What do you think I should do?
Sad Sister Situation
Hi Sad Sister Situation,
First of all, I FEEL YOU. Younger sisters are a LOT. I have been where you are, watching my parents run circles around Brianna, wondering when they’re going to notice I’m RIGHT THERE!
Even though I don’t know you or your parents, I feel totally 100% confident saying that they DON’T love your little sister more than they love you. Period. But I totally believe you when you say that they give her more attention, and that can feel like they’re giving her more love.
Whatever the reason – maybe she’s a lot younger, like Brianna is, or maybe she has special needs, or just kind of a big personality – they probably feel like they HAVE to give her more attention. And meanwhile, you’re older and more mature, and they feel like they don’t have to worry about you as much. But that leads to you feeling neglected.
You definitely should NOT run away. That wouldn’t solve anything. Let’s say your finger starts hurting. It hurts for a while, and it’s hard to type or eat and do your normal activities. Would you go see a doctor to find out what’s wrong? Or, would you just cut off your hand?
Running away in response to this problem would be like cutting off your hand for that sore finger.
But, don’t “let it go” either. There are times to make like Elsa and let it go, like when your crush starts crushing on someone else, when your BFF snaps at you because she’s having a bad day, etc.
But right now, what you need to do is see a doctor. Okay, not a doctor – I’m stuck on the finger example. You need to talk to your parents. Pick a calm time when your sister’s not around. (Maybe after she’s in bed?) Don’t do this when emotions are running high. I’m not talking about screaming at them, “You don’t love me!”
I’m talking about sitting them down and telling them how much you love them, and how you understand that your sister demands a lot of their time and energy, but that you’re also feeling like you need some more of their time and energy.
Don’t accuse. Just focus on telling them how you feel. And if you have specific ideas about what might help, tell them.
If, for some reason, your parents don’t listen when you talk to them, find someone else to talk to. A school counselor, a religious leader, or another adult family member. Find someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, and find someone who will listen to you. Your parents DO love you, and I bet a bunch of other people do as well.
So don’t go cutting off your hand – or running away. Being a parent seems like a pretty tough gig. You totally deserve to feel loved. But you’ll make it easier on everyone if you help your parents out and tell them what you need.