5 Important Things I Want My (Teen) Sister To Know

Flickr / Sean MacAntee
Flickr / Sean MacAntee
For my baby sister who is growing up way too fast for me to handle. As you trudge through these fine teen years like the boss that you are, know that even when you’re 45 years old, you’ll still be my baby girl. Sorry, deal with it. p.s. I love you more than words can convey.

1. Cherish Time With The Parents.

Spend as much time with the parents as you can. Not only do mum and dad “get it,” they’ve always got your back. Yes, sometimes they may seem unreasonable and totally not as cool as “X” person’s parents. But rest assured they are not even remotely trying to be your friend, at least not right now. They still need to parent you so let them. Remember they love you more than anything which is why they can’t say “yes” to everything. And trust that you will miss them, sometimes to the point of being sick, when you finally do leave home. And indeed you’ll come to the realization the rest of us do: You had it good. Free rent, free food, free compliments, and free love are never to be underestimated. There will never be another place like home during these years so enjoy it. Because it’ll probably be gone way too soon.

2. Your Siblings Aren’t Perfect.

One of the tragedies of your teen years is the realization your parents aren’t perfect. But there’s no event quite as tragic as the realization that your siblings aren’t either. Because you have four of us, you’ve probably already realized that sometimes we suck. We don’t call enough, we will over-protect you to the point of annoyance, and because we’re much older, we sometimes treat you more like our child rather than a sibling. Forgive us, we just want you not to make the mistakes we did. And know that we’ll always feel like we should be better for you, and we’re much harder on ourselves than we will ever be on you.

3. Be A Good Friend.

First of all, avoid all the drama, gossip, etc. that has inevitably started among your friend group; avoid it like the plague my dear. Be a good friend because that is one of the most important things in life you can learn. Don’t say behind their backs things you wouldn’t say to their face and always be the one who is most honest with them. Whether you are friends for a lifetime or just for a time, they will remember you fondly because of it. Never try too hard with anyone though – it’s never worth it. And don’t expect everyone to like you – when you encounter those who don’t, just go about your business and don’t spare a single thought about them. And if you ever get lonely in the world, remember your sister also doubles as one of your lifetime friends.

4. Boys…Oh Boys.

First of all, I want you to always remember this life truth: Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them. Okay, that’s not exactly true and might have worked when you were six but I’m guessing I have to step my advice game up. I know at this point in your life, you will want boys to think you’re beautiful and smart and funny. And that’s fine, that’s A-okay! But I want you to think these things about yourself first. Don’t dwell too long on any crush (because that terrible habit could follow you into adulthood) and definitely don’t sweat it too much when a boy doesn’t like you. It’ll hurt but there’s nothing you can do about it. Those feelings are temporary so don’t let it make you bitter and you’ll find it a source of laughter, years later. Also, should any boy in the future want to legitimately be more than your friend, please kindly remind him you have three older brothers. But most importantly, a sister they should really be afraid of.

5. Don’t Grow Up Too Fast.

Please enjoy these years. Don’t rush them. And don’t think adulthood is the answer to any of your problems. It isn’t. Every freedom you will have when you do finally become an adult, will come with two often not-so-fun responsibilities. So for now focus on your school work, on sports, on music, on being a good friend, and continue being the wonderful person you are. Every bad day will pass and all the tears that come with those will soon be forgotten. Learn how to be happy even when life doesn’t go your way, and don’t let anyone ever steal your sunshine. And that childish enthusiasm and curiosity you have for life right now – never ever lose it.

But when you finally do reach adulthood, rest assured that vino dad may let you have a sip of from time to time, will take on a whole new level of importance. Unless of course you’ll be like mum and decide it’s just not for you. That’s fine too. And in that case, please remember No. 2. TC mark

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