Home Conversations Group Forums Family Siblings How to set a good example without being overbearing…

4 replies, 3 voices Last updated by Profile photo of Fredrick D. Williams Mba Fredrick D. Williams Mba 1 year, 9 months ago
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  • #8689 Reply
    Profile photo of Madeline-CM
    Madeline-CM
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    @madelinemm

    Warriors – many of us have younger siblings (and those who don’t probably have people in their lives who look up to them in the way younger sibs do)! I am wondering what thoughts you all have on how to set an example for these younger brothers and sisters without seeming like a know it all or being overbearing on their lives.

    For example – my younger brother is a senior in high school, and I am currently in the process of helping him with his college applications. Sometimes I find it difficult to give him good advice without sounding like I think I know so much more than he does. I want to be respectful of his own life experience, but I also want him to realize how much he needs to get it together if he wants to go to a good school!! He’s very smart, but sometimes I don’t think he takes my advice very seriously.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on how to share advice or knowledge with a younger sibling in a constructive way?
    What positive or negative experiences have you had in talking to your younger siblings?

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  • #8696 Reply
    Profile photo of Julia
    Julia
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    @Juliayon

    There seems to be a fine line with advice and younger siblings, because you feel inherently responsible for and protective over them, but that’s not entirely supposed to be your “role.” My mom would actually try to use this to her advantage when my brother was applying to college. Of course by our own standards, it didn’t seem that he was taking anything seriously. A few times my mom actually asked me to initiate a serious discussion with him about it and “not to tell him she told me to” because she knew that he usually respected what I had to say. I sat down with him and openly said “Look, I’m not trying to nag you or act like a jerk but you might want to start thinking more about x, y, and z.” Point of the matter is, our younger siblings do look up to us, and as long as they know we’re coming from a good place, we can trust that they’ve at least considered our opinions. At that point, it’s up to them what they will do with it. People will do what they do and make decisions that we may consider mistakes, but it always comes back to a matter of perspective. My brother didn’t necessarily end up at a college that me or my mother thought made much sense, but he’s really flourishing academically and socially and that’s all we can ask for. At least you can feel good knowing you gave your brother some words that can be of use if he decides :)

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  • #8700 Reply
    Profile photo of Fredrick D. Williams Mba
    Fredrick D. Williams Mba
    Participant
    @fredrick.d.williams

    Listen! It never changes. My twin brother and I are both 37 and our older brother is 39. The best advice I can offer is be prepared for them to toss all of your mistakes in your face, with a hint of love. I find myself schooling my brothers from time-to-time simply because they trust my advice. I recently talked to my older brother about his life, but used a softer approach. Make sure you listen without sounding like a parent. It takes time. But it will all pay off in the end.

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  • #8707 Reply
    Profile photo of Madeline-CM
    Madeline-CM
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    @madelinemm

    Thanks so much for sharing, Julia and Fred! It’s so good to hear other people’s perspectives on this issue.

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    • #8754 Reply
      Profile photo of Fredrick D. Williams Mba
      Fredrick D. Williams Mba
      Participant
      @fredrick.d.williams

      Sure thing! Don’t worry. You’ll be a big sister for a very long time. Trust, it never changes. You’ll always see him as baby bro. LOL

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