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Fuwans, How Do You Bond With Your Siblings?


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I don't usually like to get personal on the site because I feel like the internet is not a hug box, but this is something I figured I'd get someone else's input about and maybe discover interesting information that could help me out in dealing with my sister, and potentially someone else's situation.

Some context of my situation: I have a 10 year old sister who's just started her first year in middle school back in September. During elementary school she was pretty cheerful and seemed to have fun quite often when she came home; she did her homework with either my parents or me, and everything went decently smoothly for those 4 years. But now that she's in middle school it seems like things have started to take a toll on her. The amount of work obviously increased in comparison to what she had to do in elementary school and the academic pressure is something she clearly feels threatened by and I myself struggle to help her with her homework because she simply can not retain the information no matter how much I try to explain it, it's basically like she's alien to it. On top of that, my parents' work schedule basically makes it so that my sister is generally at home alone with me or at my grandmother's house. All this sorta resulted in her feeling sorta depressed, perhaps melancholic would be the best term. Her apetite has been decreasing, although it was never really great to begin with and she's began to get self conscious about her weight because of it, even though her BMI is absolutely normal for her age. Because of all this, my mother in particular has asked me to help my sister feel better by doing stuff with her and helping her out when she needs it.

Seems pretty straightforward, I know, but here's the kicker: I am absolutely terrible with kids.
I don't mean that as a way to say I don't like kids, just that I don't know how to deal with them at all, so my attitude towards children in general is usually one of indifference, this includes, to a certain degree, my sister as well.
I never thought much of it, just because I don't really know what to do in these situations, but my mother has told me before that my sister really wants to spend time with me and feels like I don't like her very much because I kinda ignore her.
I guess it's obvious to see why she'd think that, and I don't have any excuse for it, but it's really not that I don't like her, I just never managed to find a good way to socialize with her, so we don't really do much together.
In general, I am not a person who enjoys getting too touchy with other people. This includes my family. I don't like hugging and kissing whenever it's not necessary, it doesn't feel natural to me and I really shy away from displays of affection between my family as much as possible.
I never really tell anyone in my family I "like" them verbally either, it just gives me this inpending sense of embarrassment I can not shake off.
But, once again, it's not like I hate anyone in my family, I'm just not into expressing affection so openly like that, it really makes me uncomfortable.
And because I am this way, my attitude towards my sister over the course of her upgringing was never a really affectionate one as some other siblings might have had. In my earlier years  I was quite apathetic towards her as well because I just felt super estranged to her, but I'm not really like that anymore. There were other factors like our 10 year age gap which essentially made me unable to have stuff to talk about with her or play with her where we both could have fun doing it.

I hope the problem has become somewhat clearer now.
I want to do something for my sister, but I'm terrible when it comes to all the touchy affection stuff (and to make matters worse, my sister is the complete opposite) so I was just hoping there would be something where I could, at the very least, get along with my sister so she doesn't feel as lonely. I was hoping I could find some common interest, now that she's in middle school, where we can both partake in it and have fun rather than me trying to suddenly get all affectionate with her (just the thought of that latter option gives me the shivers), just as a way to at least create a starting point to where we can have a more normal sibling relationship rather than such a distant one.
My sister is very straightforward with her intentions when it comes to me, she's even left me messages in my room after cleaning it for me while I'm in college saying how she loves me and stuff, which I really appreciate and find sweet, but I'm terrible at expressing the gratitude back and I usually just muster a "thank you for [...]". My mother gets really mad because she expects me to hug her and/or kiss her and thank her, but I could never even do that with a friend to begin with, it's just not me, but I understand that at the same time not showing any form of affection or at least attention/care is not ideal either, so that's why I've come to the conclusion that I should really do something about it.
And before someone brings it up, yes I know this is the age of puberty, I'm not at all discarding the possibility of this being "just a phase" and I'm sure she'll get over it once she's more used to the new environment she's in, but that's not really what I'm trying to solve here, I just kind of want to mend our relationship a bit so hopefully my sister knows I'm not just some stranger around the house and that if she's having problems she can come to me as well, and hopefully this will ease her life a bit.

It was a long rant, sorry for getting so personal about my life, but I figured this would really paint the picture pretty clearly.
So Fuwans, how do you bond with your siblings?
 

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I live in Finland I don't have to bond with my siblings

Actually I have a sister too that just started middle school. We don't really hug each other and stuff. If we did it would be pretty weird since it's not usual here. (I would love to hug her though since I'm a siscon) I sometimes tickle my sister and play something stupid with her but that's how I am. I think you should find something that you can do for her.

OR

JUST DO IT. Hugging can't be that bad right? xD Also saying "Thank you" shyly is kinda cute. I'm sure she appreciates it :sachi: 

 

 

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I'm not saying this is correct but... I bond with her as little as possible.

The thing is, everything she does pisses me off. Her manner of speaking, her thought processes, the way she acts when I'm trying to help with her HW, the moments she does unironically idiotic things (asking which season or month it is, for example), the way she generally acts... There's also the facts that I'm usually in my room whenever I get back from school, and it usually pisses me off when someone other than me is in my room- immensely so. I know this is a bit irrational, but it is what it is. And whenever my sister goes into my room, I fucking blow my fuses (internally). I keep getting pissed off due to her, and as such I act like an asshole to her. Hate it when she acts bossy, she's the bossiest person I know (except... myself maybe? I find that I unintentionally might be taking advantage of my friends sometimes and not doing enough in return). As such, I don't talk to her much- otherwise I hurt her.

 There's a 4-year gap and she's in her penultimate year of middle school if that matters. She isn't a very happy person.

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I'll tell you what happened the one time I actively got more affection with her (was some years ago, I don't remember how many).
We ran around, played catch, got into a tickle fight, etc.
After that, she proceeded to tell everyone in the house about how great of an experience it was, how much fun she had, how great I was, etc.
This all led to my parents both making a huge deal out of it because it was so unusual for me to be like that and so they pestered me for days about it and told the rest of the family.

Essentially, the one time I got affectionate with her resulted in the thing I hate the most: being put in the spotlight.

It was incredibly embarrassing and I absolutely abhorred it.
To me the best way to show gratitute is just enjoying the moment and not making a big deal about it, which is something my family never does, hence why I shy away from doing stuff like that.

I know it's irrational, but I can't help it, this is just how I am and how I have always been.
I am not as vehemently opposed to it now that she's a bit older, so she probably won't make such a fuss, but I still would rather not do things that involve getting super touchy and up close, if not only for how awkward it would be for me to start being like that all of a sudden.
A baby steps approach is much preferred here.

I'm not saying this is correct but... I bond with her as little as possible.

The thing is, everything she does pisses me off. Her manner of speaking, her thought processes, the way she acts when I'm trying to help with her HW, the moments she does unironically idiotic things (asking which season or month it is, for example), the way she generally acts... There's also the facts that I'm usually in my room whenever I get back from school, and it usually pisses me off when someone other than me is in my room- immensely so. I know this is a bit irrational, but it is what it is. And whenever my sister goes into my room, I fucking blow my fuses (internally). I keep getting pissed off due to her, and as such I act like an asshole to her. Hate it when she acts bossy, she's the bossiest person I know (except... myself maybe? I find that I unintentionally might be taking advantage of my friends sometimes and not doing enough in return). As such, I don't talk to her much- otherwise I hurt her.

 There's a 4-year gap and she's in her penultimate year of middle school if that matters. She isn't a very happy person.

In a way I understand you.
I hated when my sister tampered with things in my room without my permissions, I hated lending her stuff, I hated basically everything that involved her entering my personal space, and I have yelled at her for it as well plenty of times.
Although now I have sort of grown out of that mentality a bit more (she also learned how to knock which was a great step), even though I still don't like when anyone touches my stuff without permission.

I won't say it's irrational, everyone likes their privacy, but if your sister is as young as mine, she will definitely start feeling like you hate her and it can take a toll on her daily life, and as I mentioned in my post, I really do kind of want to avoid that at this stage.

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In a way I understand you.
I hated when my sister tampered with things in my room without my permissions, I hated lending her stuff, I hated basically everything that involved her entering my personal space, and I have yelled at her for it as well plenty of times.
Although now I have sort of grown out of that mentality a bit more (she also learned how to knock which was a great step), even though I still don't like when anyone touches my stuff without permission.

I won't say it's irrational, everyone likes their privacy, but if your sister is as young as mine, she will definitely start feeling like you hate her and it can take a toll on her daily life, and as I mentioned in my post, I really do kind of want to avoid that at this stage.

She's 13. Possible she feels like that, the truth is that I'm just a horrendous brother and as such I'd rather not associate with much.

Not to mention that I don't like to spend much time with my immediate family, internet feels like a method of communication where I am more free to express myself, really. So I'm not just apathetic towards her, I'm apathetic towards all the household. She might still be taking it personally though.

 

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Unfortunately, I only have a little brother (5 years younger than me, I'm 22), so I don't know how to approach your situation. I could always ask my cousin who has a sister who is 4 years younger than him on how they interact and stuff, though your age gap is definitely a lot larger...

 

To answer the question of the thread title: Sort of? My brother and I share the basement rooms of the house, he uses the mainroom computer while I sit in my room. We sort of have a "let's talk when we feel like saying something" thing, we're both gamers and both watch anime (though I'm hardcore addict, he watches the semi-occasional dub and asks me for recommendations though). There's times we don't really say anything to each other for weeks, other times we'll sit there watching a random Youtube video or talk about a game or anime for over an hour. I guess that's just considered normal though.

 

Again, that doesn't work for your situation, because we already have a pretty "boyish" common ground in interest. Unless you infect teach your sister something about one of your interest, I don't know what to say :sachi: 

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You definitely have what I would also consider a normal relationship and what I kind of want to achieve. I don't have that since my sister and I don't really talk about anything since our interests are so far appart.

I did think the best idea would be either via games or anime since they're two things me and her can get behind, but games aren't really much of an option since we don't have any way to play together. I guess we could take turns but that sounds pretty boring, added to the fact my only gaming console is a PS2 with one controler and we only have 1 computer in the house which is mine.

As for anime, sadly the choices are more limited since she doesn't speak English, but I did think about looking for stuff they've dubbed in Portuguese, or at least subbed, I'll need to ask her if she can read subs now.
I have no idea how watching an anime with my sister will be like, but it seems like it's worth a shot. I also don't mind watching girly kids' anime (that's what I do on a daily basis to begin with:Kappa:)  so that's always a plus (and an excuse to finally watch Precure).

At least this was my train of thought so far. Any opinions?

She's 13. Possible she feels like that, the truth is that I'm just a horrendous brother and as such I'd rather not associate with much.

Not to mention that I don't like to spend much time with my immediate family, internet feels like a method of communication where I am more free to express myself, really. So I'm not just apathetic towards her, I'm apathetic towards all the household. She might still be taking it personally though.

Ah, so you kinda have the attitude I typically have, although I don't hate her, I'm just sort of indifferent most of the time.
Something which, well, I wanted to change, hence I made the thread :P

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I've never had a bad relationship with my brother, who is 6 years older than me, and I don't have a sister either, so I'm not sure if I can help your situation. We bond over video games, even though I wasn't able to see him for most of my childhood. We usually don't talk too much, we each stay in our separate rooms, but when we do talk, it's around 30 minutes to an hour, and we joke and mess around with each other as well.

I'd say the anime would be the better choice if you don't have much in the way of games. Though, when you can get games, co-op ones are probably your best bet. Like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes for example.

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I would recommend anime subbed in Portuguese.  It's like free speed reading lessons.  Or even better--dubbed in English and subbed in Portuguese.  Exposure to English at her age would be good for her.  Much more useful than exposure to Japanese.  The educational argument is something even your parents could get behind.

I'd recommend starting with Ore no Imouto.  That'll be a great segway for visual novels later.

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I have a brother, and I'm the younger sister.. but our age gap is really small, so it's probably not the same as your situation.

Since we were similar in age, we usually had things to talk about like what happened at school.  We were also both into anime and video games, so we watched anime series together or played mmorpgs together sometimes.  We would talk/argue about random things school-related, activity-related, personal things.  When we were really young, my brother would hog the video games, so I actually got used to watching him play and still enjoyed the experience.  As we got older, of course I rather play my own thing, but if there was one system.. he usually played and I had to watch.  And because he was my older brother... he would force/pressure me to do things with him sometimes, even when I didn't want to <_< (go out to eat, watch stuff, play something).

Despite all that, my brother and I actually don't get along and it got worse as we got older.  He was always more extroverted and I was introverted.  The relationship between us mostly deteriorated due to him constantly forcing things on me because of his position of power (being the older sibling), and just treating me badly.   Well, we got along decently and I felt close when we'd have fun together... but at times, it got really strained by him using his "big brother" position against me a lot. (He always had to be right/win in arguments, I always had to do what he wanted, etc).

Sooo~ if anything, just remember to treat your sibling well and respect each other. It's probably better that you are indifferent&kind, compared to being mean anyways... so at least you can improve.  I already think it's pretty sweet that you're thinking about your younger sister and wanting to help her.. You could try finding some activity to do with her, like take her to the movie theaters/go out to eat together (buy her ice-cream or something)/play a boardgame or video game together, etc.  You could always ask her what she'd like to do too.  Just find something to do with her, or you could try talking to her about what ever~ (what are her interests? What's happening in school?)  

-oh, I also wanted to add. My brother and I were not very affectionate at all. It would actually be sort of awkward if we tried hugging or w/e.  And we never really say anything mushy to each other.. the most we said, was like "I care about you, because you're my brother/sister" and that's it.  Our relationship wasn't touchy-feely at all, nor many mushy words.  It was like just having a sibling friend to do/talk about things together... and I would often get life lesson talks from him.

Edited by Cyrillej1
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I'd recommend starting with Ore no Imouto.  That'll be a great segway for visual novels later.

Yeah, I'm sure she'd learn a lot of great values from it. Truly a wonderful recommendation, how could I not have thought about that.
Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a siscon in real life. 

And because he was my older brother... he would force/pressure me to do things with him sometimes, even when I didn't want to <_< (go out to eat, watch stuff, play something).

I don't intend to be like this so I guess I got that going for me. In fact I don't think I could ever be like that lol.
It's quite the opposite actually, my sister keeps seeking my attention or asking me to do something with her but I usually just decline, so I guess that's the first thing I'm changing (which I more recently have but she hasn't been home much recently so I haven't had any real opportunity to be with her a lot).

It's not like I want a situation where me and her are constantly together, I just want some form of segway that can lead to us having a less distant relationship, because then things could be less awkward between us.

I do think going out is a good idea (she usually likes going out by herself), I've never really done that with my sister (outside of when the entire family is going out), so I'd just need a decent opportunity for it.
I'll need to check the movie theaters once the test season is over.
Right now it's rainy season so there's not many opportunities to leave the house, sadly, but I'll see what I can come up with.

I can see the pattern in responses tends to be "just do something together you both can enjoy", so I'm glad I was on the right track :P

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10 Year gap? Ha! How about 14 years?! She's currently 15.

And no, don't ask me how that happened, my parents are crazy.

 

My relationship with my younger sister is that of us pestering each other. My older sister basically taught her how to be a pest and a pain in the arse, so I never had to do much for us to interact. I don't have many displays of affection, but it doesn't have to be like you described: hugging, kissing, etc.

You could opt for other ways. I often fall asleep on the sofa and it's not unusual for us to take a nap together. Though she breaks my legs, way to heavy. While on the topic, she's also pretty fond of sitting on top of me.

We don't have many common topics, so that makes conversation a bit harder. But you know how families are, everyone has opinions and it's not too hard to talk about random stuff, though younger the harder.

Is cloning ethical? Time for a random history lesson, since that's my hobby. I read a book about science fiction the other day... Which teacher are you going to complain about today? Dinner sucks. Let's watch (read: force you to) a Disney film. Time for an arbitrary act of violence, since that's what older brothers do. I'll go pick you up from school. Shut up! I'm not even listening! Et cetera, et cetera.

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Honestly, if she was 15, I feel like I could talk with her a bit more easily since she should be more mentally mature, but she's 10, I have no idea what 10 years old even do these days.
Hell, I don't even know what I did when I was 10 (that might be for the best in the end).

But I do want to point out I'm not super talktative by nature.
For example, today she asked me about my Japanese classes and wheter or not I could write stuff in Japanese, I feel like a conversation coul have sparked but all I said was "yeah I can" and then moved along.
This is why I'm focusing mostly on doing things rather than talking, because my talking skills are worse than a harem protagonist's ability to understand a girl's feelings.

Also, since I'm always holed up in my room and my sister in her room/living room, there's not much going on that could lead to us to talk.
I guess the main culprit in this would be my internect addiction.

The fact that I also know all this and don't actively try to fix it is problematic in itself, although I'm trying harder now!

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 I can see the pattern in responses tends to be "just do something together you both can enjoy", so I'm glad I was on the right track :P

Because it’s an easy out. Basically you improve your relationship by taking an interest in your sister’s activities and life, and giving her your time and attention. It’s not really desirable because it tends to mean you doing something you may not want to do, but that’s just life, and love is something which requires work and commitment to nurture.

The idea of doing something you both enjoy is applying a limited version of this technique, limited because you’re obviously only taking an interest as long as it’s during an activity you both enjoy. It tends to build a more superficial relationship, because relationships based around anime and games will never have a depth to it, but a lot of people are fine with that. 

My relationship with my younger sister is that of us pestering each other. My older sister basically taught her how to be a pest and a pain in the arse, so I never had to do much for us to interact. 

BWAHAHAHA, your older sister is awesome. Anyone who pesters Tiag enjoys the blessings of Fate and will benefit from much luck throughout life, so your older sister was only taking care of her younger sibling :) ... not you obviously, the other one :P

Edited by Rooke
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 Because it’s an easy out. Basically you improve your relationship by taking an interest in your sister’s activities and life, and give your time and attention. It’s not really desirable because it tends to mean you doing something you may not want to do, but that’s just life, and love is something which requires work and commitment to nurture.

The idea of doing something you both enjoy is applying a limited version of this technique, limited because you’re obviously only taking an interest as long as it’s during an activity you both enjoy. It tends to build a more superficial relationship, because relationships based around anime and games will never have a depth to it, but a lot of people are fine with that. 

I don't think this will be too much of a problem in my case, but I do get where you're coming from.

I see a lot of people here mentioning how their other siblings pester them, but my sister is not like that at all.
I have never once fought with my sister. I might have raised my voice at her sometimes, but it's not really what I'd call fighting.
She constantly seeks my attention and hopes I play with her, and she said all she really wants is to spend time with me. She's also left me plenty of notes that say how much she likes me and/or how awesome I am, which I appreciate a lot, but of course, being as socially inept as I am, I have never experienced such forms of affection, and thus can not handle it well, but I'm working on self improvement one step at a time.

And so, because my sister is like this (at least for now, I don't expect her clingyness to last forever), I do think just finding something to do with her is the best first step to take for both of us.
I expect after a while we'll be able to talk a little bit better.

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It's kinda somewhat opposite for me. I don't really do it that often, but every so often I'll tease my sister and play around with her. She almost never wants to hug me though. ;_; My mom has brainwashed my sister into hating anime (she hasn't watched it once), but we do watch random youtube stuff and kids movies once in a while.

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Get out of your comfort zone nosebleed and just show her some attention. It doesn't have to be stifling or anything, but surprise her with a gift, or take her out shopping or something. You don't have to explicitly say anything like, "I love you" or anything. For example, I don't live with my sisters, but every so often, I'll drive across town, and just hang out at their place. Just being there, and spending some time with them can be more than enough. 

 

AND WHATEVER YOU DO

Do not force your hobbies onto her. I see and hear about this a lot in otaku circles, where one person attempts to shove anime culture onto their family and can't understand why they hate it. People have different taste, so don't get bent out of shape if people don't like what you like. 

 

Your sister sounds super sweet nosebleed. Like I said, you dont actually have to say anything like "I love you" or "Youre a great sister" Just Do things with her she enjoys. And if you dont know what she enjoys, pay more attention to your family. 

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Get out of your comfort zone nosebleed and just show her some attention. It doesn't have to be stifling or anything, but surprise her with a gift, or take her out shopping or something. You don't have to explicitly say anything like, "I love you" or anything. For example, I don't live with my sisters, but every so often, I'll drive across town, and just hang out at their place. Just being there, and spending some time with them can be more than enough. 

 

AND WHATEVER YOU DO

Do not force your hobbies onto her. I see and hear about this a lot in otaku circles, where one person attempts to shove anime culture onto their family and can't understand why they hate it. People have different taste, so don't get bent out of shape if people don't like what you like. 

 

Your sister sounds super sweet nosebleed. Like I said, you dont actually have to say anything like "I love you" or "Youre a great sister" Just Do things with her she enjoys. And if you dont know what she enjoys, pay more attention to your family. 

I agree with this guy.

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AND WHATEVER YOU DO

Do not force your hobbies onto her. I see and hear about this a lot in otaku circles, where one person attempts to shove anime culture onto their family and can't understand why they hate it. People have different taste, so don't get bent out of shape if people don't like what you like. 

This is just solid life advice for all situations. I've seen people here and elsewhere go against this advice way too often, and it almost never actually works out like they expect.

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I don't plan on forcing my hobbies on her (sorry if t came off like that), I always ask if she wants to do something first. I know she likes video games, she watches a lot of LPs on YouTube on her tablet. As for anime, I've seen her watch some children's anime, so I'm confident I could show her perhaps an anime movie or series she'd like as well.

Of course I said here what my plans were, but I'll obviously ask her first and foremost, if she's okay with it, and if she doesn't want to I'll just ask what she wants to do. Otherwise the whole ordeal would be pointless.

Knowing my sister, what will likely happen is she will come to me first, so I'm not overly concerned since she's pretty vocal about the stuff she wants to do and the things she likes. Lucky for me I guess. But if she doesn't, I'll ask her instead.

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Got an older sister 6 years older than me. I remember bugging her a lot as a kid (I was a pretty impudent kid.). A long time ago, before I was in high school, we used to watch anime together.
She'd bring me along to go play with her friends, back when I was really socially clueless and didn't have friends to go out with.

She lives in another city now, and we only talk a few times a years during skype calls or visits, since neither of us are the type to actively keep contact. But she's still interested in what's going on for me, and vice versa. We talk about life and stuff. It's pretty nice, a sibling is like someone you can talk to about different stuff in a different way from other people. I think we both appreciate that. I think it was a close call, if we weren't able feel like we could speak frankly with each other, we'd be very distant at this stage.

Since I had an older sibling and we weren't that close it isn't so relevant. By my guess you're sister will be able to tell and appreciate when you start trying to interact with her.

It's great how you care for your sister, she sounds so sweet. Hope things get better!

Edited by Chronopolis
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 All of my parents' children are kinda dickish, I don't really like them, doesn't help that I'm an only child :Kappa:

Okay, that's not entirely true, I do have a half-brother who is 11 years older than me. But since he never lived with us we've never really talked much. He's a pretty cool guy (doesn't afraid of anything), really smart, and he actually had a kid about a year ago. But I haven't even heard from him for 2 or 3 years now, let alone seen his kid. He does keep in touch with our dad, so it's not like he vanished or something, we've just never been close at all, I'm sure in large part due to the age difference.

Essentially, the one time I got affectionate with her resulted in the thing I hate the most: being put in the spotlight.

I know exactly how you feel, though of course it's just my parents in my case. Whenever I do something I don't usually do they make the biggest deal about it and it annoys me to the point that I either don't do new things or avoid letting them know.

 

 

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only child. although I honestly think I wouldn't have turned out so fucked up if I did have a sibling. although that means I wouldn't get as many things. I did wish I had one a few times but realize it is better to be lonely and get better stuff lul

Edited by Justin579
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I guess growing up for me was weird. I had an older sister 6 years ahead of me, and twin sisters two years younger than me. I was the only son in the family. So, I was a pain to the older sister, and the other two had each other and their own set of things they liked. We didn't hate each other or anything, we just couldn't relate.

Don't get too bent out of shape trying to express your affection for your sister. Most people find their own way of doing so, and it doesn't have to be hugging and kissing. It can be a playful tap on the arm. Gently mussing her hair. Even just a certain smile. And just saying "love you too, sis" can mean a word of difference. I know, you don't like to say things like that. This may sound harsh but... get over it. It's your family. There's no reason to get embarrassed over telling a family member you love them. If anything it's the easiest thing in the world - unless you belong to a dysfunctional, apathetic, hateful or other sort of abnormal family, these are the people who already love you by default. I'm not saying you have to say it all the time, but it's good to affirm it with them every so often. Even so, just spending time is also an affirmation of love for your family as well.

Find something she likes and do it with her. It's good training for doing things you don't want to do, by the way. Just don't make it look like you're not enjoying it if you aren't. I wasn't really a fan of dolls, but playing Barbie's with the twins during boring vacations was better than nothing.

You'll find a way - it takes a little effort, though.

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