“In my family I am the youngest by many years. I always feel left out of my siblings’ activities and conversations. What can I do to improve our relationship?”04250_000_006
This challenge can be an opportunity to let your brothers and sisters know that you want to feel more involved in their lives. Maybe they don’t know you feel left out. You could also talk to your parents about this. They will have some good ideas.
Suggest to your siblings some activities that you can do with them, and think of topics that you can talk to them about. Keep in mind their schedules and interests as you plan ways to spend time with them. Listening to them and showing interest in their activities will not only improve your relationship with them but help you learn. They are going through things you might go through in a few years.
Remember how important families are in Heavenly Father’s plan. If you pray for His help, He can inspire you with ideas for improving your relationship with your siblings. Have the courage to act on the promptings you receive.
Talk with Them
In my family, I too am the youngest by many years, but what I found out is that my siblings want to get to know me as much as I want to get to know them. Your siblings would probably be thrilled if you called them up just to talk or invited them to go out for lunch sometime. Tell them what is going on in your life. It will mean a lot to them that you feel comfortable enough to share your thoughts and feelings with them. Also talk to them about spiritual topics. It will help you become closer not only with them but with your Heavenly Father.
Kelsey H., 16, Alberta, Canada
Be a Good Example
I have also experienced this difficult situation. I think the best thing that we can do is be an example to our older brothers and sisters. This way, love and peace can dwell among us. We should tell them how much we love them, and we should try to be united as a family. Sooner or later they will realize how much we love them. I know these things will work out step-by-step.
Ádám B., 16, Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Hungary
Spend Time Together
It’s sometimes hard to spend time with older brothers and sisters because of school and other daily activities. But when you can, just go and talk with them, tell them about your day, and see how they are doing. If you are having troubles with something, you can ask for their opinion so that they know you value their ideas. Treat them the way you would want them to treat you. You can play games and spend time together—it helps a lot. You should also tell them how much you love them. But most importantly, pray. Heavenly Father will always help you.
Katherine M., 14, Idaho, USA
Treat Them with Kindness
As the youngest child of my family, sometimes I feel left out of my siblings’ activities and conversation, and for me it is hurtful. But when I think of Jesus Christ, I realize that by sharing common values with my family, we can strengthen and encourage each other. Treat everyone with kindness and dignity. Show interest in them, and let them know you care about them.
Joseph M., 16, Leyte, Philippines
Enjoy Every Moment Together
Sometimes I feel forgotten because my sisters have their own activities, just as my parents do. As time has gone by, I have come to understand that they all love me and that it isn’t that they don’t want to spend time with me but that to everything there is a time. It is important to enjoy every moment you can be with them, to laugh, be kind, be affectionate, and above all to show them your love. It is important for you to pray and ask our Father to help you to be close to your brothers and sisters. He will hear you and will help you.
Roberto S., 18, Santiago, Chile
Take Time to Talk
I am the youngest of seven children. When I was younger, I felt left out, but I also realized that they do love me, even more than I thought. Perhaps you cannot relate to them right now, but the best times I had with my siblings were talking. I realized that they trusted in me a lot, and it’s still that way. In order to talk with them, I would try to help them in their duties, be kind to them, avoid getting angry at them, and team up with them so they could help me. That helped me feel included and loved.
Maria H., 19, Mexico City, Mexico
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Try to Love Them More
“It is likely that some of you may not always get along with your brothers and sisters. Remember that even though you squabble and argue with them, they are very important to you. Hopefully, they will be your best friends one day.
“We should treat our families with love not only because it is a commandment to love one another but because this is the way to be happy. If you are having difficulty with someone, the best way to solve the problem is not to try to get the other person to change, but to try to love him or her more.”
Elder Cecil O. Samuelson Jr. of the Seventy, “Friend to Friend,” Friend, June 1996, 6.
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