“Questions & Answers: Showing Respect for Younger Siblings,” New Era, Sept. 2014, 44–45
“How can I learn to show respect and love for my youngersiblings when theysometimes seem to be so difficult?”
Even though relationships with younger siblings sometimes can be difficult, you can build a bond with them that will last throughout your lifetime and become a blessing to you.
Think for a minute about people you admire. Do you want to spend time with them and follow their example? Well, that’s often how your younger siblings feel—they look up to you, want to be with you, and want to be like you. Spending time getting to know them is an important part of learning to love and respect them. Remember that you’re setting an example for them and can teach them a lot about love and caring.
Work to build good relationships by following the counsel given in the scriptures about how to treat others, such as “love one another” (John 13:34), “dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1), “be … kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving” (Ephesians 4:32; see also verses 26–31), do not quarrel (see Mosiah 4:14), and “serve one another” (Mosiah 4:15). It may also help you to think about how you felt when you were their age and then treat your siblings as you would have wanted to be treated.
The effort that you make to love your brothers and sisters is an important step to family harmony now, and it will also bring rewards in your own eternal family in the future.
Whenever your siblings are making you feel frustrated, don’t give up hope or let a fight take over. Exercise self-control. Go somewhere where you can clear your mind and let the frustrations go. Pray and read the scriptures to find answers that will help you find a more peaceful way to get along. My favorite scripture is Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither thou be dismayed.” Be a good example even when times are tough.
Krystal H., 18, Idaho, USA
Showing love for one of my siblings has been a challenge for me because she is just like me, wants to be like me, and mimics everything I do. I try to reach out and show love to her by having her be the subject of some of my Personal Progress experiences. Here are some suggestions: Try to hold back unkind thoughts when your siblings irritate you. Remember to show them that you care and give them extra attention when they need it. Pray for them even when you don’t want to—especially when you don’t want to.
Fiateleimoana T., 18, Oregon, USA
I have four younger siblings and sometimes find it hard to love them. When I get upset, I try to remember that Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone and must have put us together for a reason. I also try to think of my siblings’ good qualities and pray for them and for patience. Things won’t be perfect overnight, so keep trying.
Alice C., 12, Virginia, USA
When your siblings get too annoying, go somewhere by yourself. Try to figure out why they’re being difficult. Then go and work out the problem with your siblings. Doing this works a lot better than getting angry and yelling.
Anne M., 13, Oregon, USA
You can show your siblings love and respect by forgiving them, even though it can be hard. The Lord wants us to “forgive all men” (D&C 64:10), and that includes our siblings. To forgive and move on shows that you love and respect them no matter what, and it makes it easier to show kindness to them.
Brianna B., 13, Idaho, USA
When my younger siblings are annoying me, I’ve learned to ask them kindly to stop and then I walk away for a few minutes. Then I come back with one of their favorite toys and play with them. Sometimes the most tempting way to handle things is by threat and force. Whenever I want to do this, I silently sing the lyrics to “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” (New Era, Aug. 2007, 8–10). That helps me keep calm and remember to love them. Another good song to sing is “Love One Another” (Hymns, no. 308).
Bria W., 12, Texas, USA
I show love for my younger siblings when I take the time to read or play games with them even if I feel I don’t have the time. By making time for them I create bonds with my siblings that will last through time.
Kaeli B., 17, Oregon, USA