Kid Brother

31 May

Letterbalm Kid on BikeDear LetterBalm: I can’t get rid of my kid brother. He’s six years younger than me, and he wants to do everything I do. My friends are sick of him because he whines and can’t keep up. My parents say I have to take care of him, and I don’t think it’s fair. He can’t ride his bike as fast as we can, he can’t play video games very well, and he sucks at basketball. What can I say to my parents to get him off my back?

–Tired of the Snot-Nosed Kid

Little brothers are … wait. He can’t play video games as well as you and your friends? Ms. L.B. thought kids were born with the latest gaming device grafted to their thumbs. Aw, c’mon. Your little brother looks up to you; he wants to copy everything you do. You can become his champion, his role model. Your parents will be more inclined to give you a break if you don’t complain and present your problem calmly. You may not get everything you want, but you might get them to compromise. Be patient, and don’t sulk if they say no. If you continue to be mature and accept their decision, they may come around. Talk with them when your brother isn’t there and they aren’t distracted. You might tell them this:

Mom and Dad, I want to talk to you about Ryan. I know you want him to hang out with me and my friends, but sometimes we want to do things by ourselves. If he’s there, I feel like I have to protect him and look after him so he doesn’t get hurt. I don’t mind doing that, just not all the time. Can we make a compromise? Can I have two days a week when it’s just me and my friends? I promise that I’ll teach Ryan some basketball moves and take him out fishing on the lake.

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