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Sisters, But No Longer Friends.

Dear Birdy Slade,

I'm in a bit of a pickle and could really use your advice. I'm 19 and have always been super close with my younger sister, who's 16. We used to share everything, but recently, she's been pulling away. She spends more time in her room, doesn't talk much at dinner, and seems irritated when I try to chat with her. I'm worried that she's facing some problems and not telling me about it. I don't know if I should press her to open up or give her space. How can I reconnect with her without making her feel like I'm invading her privacy?

Thanks,
Jenny

Dear Jenny

First off, kudos to you for being such a caring sibling! Navigating relationships with younger siblings can be tricky, especially during their teenage years. It's common for teens to seek more privacy as they carve out their identity.

Here's a gentle approach: Start by creating opportunities for shared activities without forcing conversation. Maybe plan a movie night or a day out, doing something she enjoys. This can create a relaxed environment where she might feel more open to chatting.

Remember, communication is key, but it's equally important to listen. You can express your concerns in a non-confrontational way. Something like, "I've noticed you've been a bit quiet lately, and I just want you to know I'm here if you ever want to talk." This lets her know you're available without pressuring her to open up.

Lastly, respect her need for privacy. It's a delicate balance between being supportive and respecting boundaries. Trust that she will come to you when she's ready. Your job is to make sure she knows the door is always open.

Warm regards,
Birdy Slade

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