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Sisters Forever, Even During Disagreements


Hey, Cherie!

I am in 10th grade and my sister is in sixth. Lately she's been such a brat! For example, recently I woke up early to study for the SAT because I have the test in two months. My sister had just boiled two eggs, and she started whining about how I should have helped. My mom already did 70 percent of it! I do stuff for her all the time and she doesn't usually even set the table! She manipulates me and thinks she can get whatever she wants.

And then there's this other thing. Recently my sister and I made a recording about why I think she is anorexic. I promised her I wouldn't tell my mom, but my mom made me tell her. Now my sister is so mad at me! She hates me and I am crying for her on the inside and the outside. I just want my bubbly sweet little sister back. Now that she is in middle school she thinks she is Ms. Social. Please help. —Worried in N.J.

Hey, Worried!

Girlfriend, this is one strange letter because it's actually two letters. The first one — an every day squabble between sisters — that one was easy. I figure it wasn't about the eggs (because I am really wise). If she's in sixth grade, then to her, you are the cool one, doing cool, grown-up things. She is envious, wants your attention and affection. If you want her to be sweet again, pay some special attention to her — a sister trip to the mall, mani-pedis, sports — whatever you know she loves to do, and she will bask in big sister glow.

Now, the second letter. You think your little sister is anorexic?? Like, for real? This isn't a game or a cool way to lose weight because you read about some insecure Hollywood starlet who got so skinny that they plastered her skeletal physique on the cover of some gossip rag. You're telling me you think your sis has this serious eating disorder, but your mom never noticed? What's up with that? And come on, how could your mom make you tell her about a tape she didn't know about? Puh-leeze.

You love your sister, so take some big sister responsibility here.

You should have expressed your concerns to little sis, and told her that if she didn't discuss it with your mom, you would. Yep, she'd have been all kinds of ticked at you. But sometimes love means doing the right thing even if the person you love is going to temporarily hate you for it.

Everything else in your letter pales in comparison to this issue. Your little sister wants to grow up— middle school, drastic weight loss. She needs some guidance, love and positive feedback from you and your mom. Your sis is supposed to start growing up on a middle school level, just like you're supposed to be growing up on a teen level by getting ready to take the SATs and contemplating college.

Now that your mom knows, she should be all over this, and get outside help if your sis can't give up "Anna." Love your sis as she changes and struggles, pay attention to her, give her positive feedback, be her confidante. Sisters are forever. I wish I had one.

Hey, Cherie!

How stupid is this? My school is doing a field trip to the zoo. Um, my family owns the zoo. I like grew up there, except not in a cage. I'm really supposed to waste my time by going to my own family's zoo? I'm totally ditching. —Brain Dead Monkey

Hey, Brain Dead!

Wait, if you were a Brain Dead Monkey you'd be in a lab waiting to get dissected, not in your family's zoo. Yeah, pretty sure on that one. Now if they tried to make you go to a lab where they experimented on animals, I wouldn't go on that field trip either. But what's the biggie about getting a day out of school to essentially go play in your own back yard?

Cherie Bennett is a best-selling author of books for teens and young adults. Visit her website at To find out more about Cherie Bennett and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Cut Mom a LITTLE slack, Cherie. Anorexics tend to be high-achievers, very smart. Smart enough to figure out that what they're doing is going to be frowned upon by adults, and therefore something they put their energies into hiding. Put that next a mom who thinks anorexia is what you watch for in high school, not middle school, and she's not suspicious when Lil Sis says, "I already ate at Leah's house" or "Tiffany asked me to dinner". They put a LOT of their considerable energy into finding excuses why their parents don't see them eating, and they share them in online "diet support" groups that her mom has no idea even exist.

I do agree LW needs to take big sis responsibility here.
Comment: #1
Posted by: hedgehog
Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:29 PM
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