Driving family mad! - FamilyEducation
Driving family mad!
01/23/2008 at 17:53 PM

Hi everyone.
I'm a 21 year old sister to a 17 year old brother, 7 year old sister, and a 4 year old brother.

My 7 year old sister is 7 going on 16, and it's becoming worse. Although, she is extremely intelligent (she's a grade ahead), she has one of the worst attitudes I have ever witnessed. I know a lot of peoples' first reaction is, "Um, she's 7", but she says many hurtful things (things 7 year olds should never even think about saying) to our mother, myself, and our brothers. The past year she has been going through a very "jealous stage" where she believes everyone is getting more attention than her (which couldn't be further from the truth), and she's inconsiderate of anyone's feeling, and just a brat in general. She doesn't understand how good she has it, and doesn't appreciate anything! We've tried so much, but it only works for about 2 days, then she's right back to her ways!

I've even come home a lot more to spend time with her. I know that she misses me, and I take her out for a "sister's day" and I know it makes her happy, but the next day at home, my mother tells me she's a riot again.

We really don't know what to do with her. My mother and her boyfriend went to her school last week for a conference, and told them that even though she's a bright and intelligent girl, she's also the "mean girl".

We have run out of ideas, and it's to the point where I don't even like visiting anymore, and my 4 year old brother says he "hates" her! 

We're not going to give up on her, but we are running low on what to do with her.

Help? Please!


I realize that you don't have a lot of power in this situation.  I wonder if your mom would be willing to consider if your sister has childhood depression.  I was depressed as a child, as was my mother and at least one of my daughters.  My daughter was treated, my mom and I lived through it without intervention.  with intervention is better.


We took her last July to have her checked out for anger problems, and depression. She did not have any of them, but she did end up having A.D.D. Because I am a Psychology major, I have been fortunate enough to be in contact with a lot of great people about her situation, but like I said, everything is temporary. I've been going back home every night after class this week and she is so excited that I'm there for about an hour, then comes the cold comments. I work for the School District here, and I was

talking to the School Counselor at the school I work at, and his only advice to me was to try and stick through it. It's easier said than done! Especially since this behavior is an obvious trigger of something else. I am starting to wonder if I should move back home? Although, I really want her to get used to not having me around so much, but know I am just a phone call away if she needs me. She is way too much of a gorgeous and intelligent girl to continue acting this way!!

Have you told her, maybe before the cold behavior happens on a given day, that you don't like how you feel when she treats you badly?  Tried to help her understand that people won't stick around when someone goes out of their way to be mean?  That might be a bad idea, especially if she feels that your father abandoned the family. 


Her father didn't "abandon the family." Nor does she feel like that. We've talked to her about it, and has a great relationship with her father even though she treats him the same way. Her acting like this happened way before her father and our mother divorced. They had a smooth divorce, and everything is fine in that dept.

Sorry, just didn't want to stir waters with her that didn't need stirring.  So, have you explained that you want to be treated kindly?


Yes, we have. We tell her at that very moment when she says something to us.

There is an article "How to handle back talk" on this site.  It looked like they had a bunch of resources.  Go to the home page and search.  And keep posting, I hope you can find some answers.   And the post titled AAAAAAAH!   brings up the same issue.



Hey there


Gail is right we have great articles on talking back---check it out!

Behavior Makeover: Talking Back - FamilyEducation.com


How to Handle Back Talk - FamilyEducation.com


Good Luck!







Thanks to both of you so much!

Thanks to both of you so much!