Trying to understand one's siblings is always difficult, what's even more difficult is when they are in their adolescent phase.
I have a sister, who is seven years younger than me. She is funny, outspoken, fearless and a really good dancer. In the last few months, I have noticed that she was starting to face some of her own demons which comes with adolescence and growing up.
Our relationship over the years has always been stable, considering the huge age gap; but recently strange things have happened in both our lives which have actually brought us closer together.
Funny enough, she was there for me when I dealt with a break-up, it felt strange to talk to her about it as she had never had a boyfriend. Boy... did I underestimate her as a young lady! She advised me on things and painted a different picture to me about relationships.
I was so caught up in my own life and work, I failed to recognise her dilemmas which she faced everyday.
After realising that I was missing out on her life, and not offering guidance and support, I was slowly becoming a stranger to her, another "grown up" dictating how she should live her life. I took time out, sat with her and listened. To my surprise, I was actually missing out on her life and all her adventures.
We chatted for hours, danced and even sang karaoke together ? I suspect we scared the neighbours. Spending that time with her was the most fun I had in ages and I actually forgot how it felt to have fun and relax, more importantly, how good it feels to laugh at yourself.
While laying in bed after our bonding session, I kept thinking of our time together. I realised how easy it was for me to loose her as a friend, sister and confidant because I was too busy to listen.
She could easily go astray by doing drugs, joining a gang, falling pregnant, all easliy done by mixing with the wrong crowd. I know now it's important for us as the older siblings to guide and protect our younger ones.
All that they are looking for is an ear to listen to their growing pains, which gangster and drug dealers are ever so willing to do. All they do is give our children a false sense of hope, which leads to disappointment. It is up to us as parents and siblings to take the time and find out what is happening in their lives to avoid them from having to look elsewhere for support. From now on, I will be making a concerted effort to chat to my sister, who I know is in need of guidance. I may not have the best advice to give her, but at least I can try to be her support when she needs me.
So my closing words to parents and other brothers and sisters: make time for your children and your siblings because they need you.
In fact, you need them too!