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Solution: Brother and Sister Staying Close

by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil | November 30th, 2012 | Parenting Predicament

My 15-year-old daughter, who has always enjoyed a great relationship with her 17-year-old brother, is very upset when he is on the computer playing games with his friends.  She says she misses him. Today we came back from a visit at a friend of hers and as soon as she noticed he was “unavailable” due to being in the middle of a game, she “lost it” – ??? How much of this is hormonal and how much of it is a deep pain of feeling the loss of a deep friendship?

A little of both!

Where she feels displaced by his friends and technology, it would help for her to say, “I value you and miss you, can we do playdates with each other” — set aside time for just the two of them so he both learn to share and not substitute tech for one on one contact. Let him see how he’s valued and time together will help her feel special.

Each can also gain trust for the opposite sex from their relationship together — how they negotiate space and closeness to each other. Think of  two porcupines in an igloo, close enough to stay warm, not so close that they prick each other.

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