1. You need to balance out acting immature and acting like a serious adult.
You’re not their parent so it’s crucial you know how to bring the fun by (sometimes) acting ratchet, providing the “amenities,” sneaking out into the night, and adding laughter throughout the day; but that being said, you must also be the watchful eye, the caregiver, and the timeout king.
You need to be delicate enough to stray away from being called – “You’re not my parent! Leave me alone!” to “You’re so boring.” If they can rely on you to bring the fun, but also know they’re going to be safe…then you’ve done your job.
Oh! On a lasting note, you should never ever be in a situation where you become more partied out (messed up) than them.
2. You should be on top of your game at all times.
It’s not about money or status, but you should always be working hard towards your life goals. If you don’t have goals…sit down and make them. It’s not a good sign if you’re known to be sitting around watching Netflix all day while living with your parents!
It’s not a good sign if your career advice sounds like this: “Don’t be like me and make the mistakes I made when I was younger…”
Seriously, be accountable for your actions and work towards (at the very least) something. How can they come to you for career or life advice if you’re amounting to nothing? You’re the older sibling! Act like one! There is nothing worse than hearing: “You were once my role model.”
So don’t give up, okay?!
3. Stop yourself from being controlling and shoving your philosophies down their throat.
You’re not their parent, remember? Let your siblings make their own choices, but do make your suggestions very clear. Don’t tell them what to do. Instead, tell your siblings where their choices could lead them.
Suggest not scold.
4. You should be able to connect them to any, if not all, the resources you have.
If they’re looking for someone who is into physical therapy, you should connect them to a friend of yours who is studying physical therapy. There is a saying I love repeating: “Lift as you climb.”
5. You should be able to hide your ego and do your best not to compare your life with your siblings.
Every sibling has their own set of talents they bring to the world. Your main job is to excel at your talent! Your drive, commitment, and hard work will speak for itself.
6. Don’t request that you get praised for being a great older sibling.
Too many people want to be praised for the success of others. Be humble enough to know that they will thank you and give you credit when credit is due. Just be patient.
7. Learn to be aggressive.
There are times when your sibling is going to act like a fool and do something completely inane that will hurt others and themselves. When this happens, it becomes your job to slap in them in the face, shake them up a little bit, and do enough damage to bring them back into reality.
8. You should always be on-call.
Of course, you can’t always be there for them, but make sure they know they are one of your first priorities in life. They rely on you, so make it apparent that they can indeed reach you in times of need.
9. You need to be patient and trust that they will do the right thing.
Yes, there will be times when your sibling will wander off to party with their friends, hook up with that cute person, move out of the house unexpectedly, or do other questionable things. However, the only way they can trust you is if you can trust them.
10. You will be a better older sibling if you are willing to listen to them, learn from them, and most of all, be proud of them.
Many times you will be the first person they call after or during a monumental event. They want to share their experiences, their challenges, and most of all their successes with you. So, take the time to sit back and be inspired.