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Teen Health

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My Sister Is Driving Me Nuts! How to Deal With Sibling Rivalry

What to do when your brother or sister is your major source of drama.

Sibling Squabble 2: She Gets All the Good Stuff

If you're fighting with your sister or brother, chances are it's because you're competing over possessions (like having to share the MP3 player or cell phone), territory (who's in control of the couch or TV remote), or attention.

All three of these things are in limited supply, and if you live in a house with siblings, you're always going to be fighting for your share of them.

Privileges are another issue, especially if there's an age difference between you and your sibling. Having to sit at home watching TV with your parents on a Friday night while your older sister gets to go out with her friends can seem really unfair. Seeing her get to drive or date before you can also be hard to take.

Sibling Squabble 3: We Just Can't Get Along

There's no polite way to say it: You HATE your sister. When you two are together, all you do is fight. She is a total (word that rhymes with witch).

Siblings fight for many reasons, one of which is different personalities. One sister might be quiet and shy, while the other is loud, bossy, and constantly craves attention. They're like oil and water -- they just don't mix.

A second reason siblings fight is age differences. Older kids naturally get more privileges, like having a later bedtime or being allowed to watch PG-13 movies. That can make their younger siblings really jealous -- which brings us to the third reason siblings fight. Jealousy. One sibling is almost always going to have something the other sibling wants -- whether it's clothes, a cell phone, or their parents' attention.

Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons why siblings fight is that they're so comfortable with each other. "The person you feel safest allowing all your stress to come out at is your sibling," says Wolf. So when your sister has had a lousy day at school, who does she take it out on? You guessed it -- you. "They sort of become a punching bag for each other," he says.

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