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Daughter Mean to Her Brother

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My 13-year-old treats her 11 year-old brother poorly much of the time. She won’t let him in her room, responds in a mean way when he tries to talk to her or asks her a question, and is just generally nasty to him much of the time. She is otherwise a perfectly nice and friendly teenager, has friends, etc. Her brother looks up to her and would do anything for her. How can I counsel her to be nicer to her brother? It’s not fair to him.

Daughter Mean to Her Brother

Answered by on -


You will have to pick your battles. Her not allowing her brother to come into her room may be very different that her being mean to him at other times. She is entitled to her privacy. She is not entitled to be mean.

You can help by empowering your son by role-playing with him different options when she treats him poorly. You are not going to be there to monitor every interaction and the best way is to help him manage his relationship with his sister. On the other hand let him know that he needs to respect his sister’s privacy. When she says she doesn’t want him to come into her room — that’s the end of the discussion.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Daughter Mean to Her Brother

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Daughter Mean to Her Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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