How to Be a Responsible Big Sister: 14 Steps

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How to Be a Responsible Big Sister: 14 Steps
How to Be a Responsible Big Sister: 14 Steps

Being the eldest sister in the family is sometimes quite complicated. Generally, your parents expect you to be an example to your younger siblings and that creates a lot of pressure. Also, it's not always easy to connect with younger siblings, especially when they do things to piss off. But if you try to remember that your siblings see you as a role model and try to get along with them, you're already on your way to being the best big sister you can be.


Method 1 of 2: Being a Good Example

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 1

Step 1. Respect your parents and show how much you appreciate them

Your siblings will likely watch you to see how they should treat your parents, so try to be a good example by showing gratitude and affection whenever possible. For example, try not to complain when your parents ask you to do chores around the house. Help them with things like putting away groceries and say "Thank you" when they take you out for dinner.

  • In addition to showing how they should act, it strengthens the bond between you and your parents!
  • Try to do this with or without your siblings present. If you disrespect your parents when younger siblings aren't around, they may still get into this bad habit or hear your parents talk about it at another time.
  • If you disagree with your parents, don't yell, roll your eyes, or call them something disrespectful. Wait to calm down and ask your parents if you can talk about what happened.


If you believe that your parents are not taking care of you or your siblings in a way that deserves respect or if they do anything that puts you in danger, see a family friend, teacher or relative.

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 2

Step 2. Be polite in front of your siblings

Even though being kind is always necessary, when your siblings are around, pay even more attention to the issue of education. For example, try to remember to say things like "Please", "Thank you" and "Excuse me" whenever appropriate. Often, younger ones absorb these habits without even realizing it, just because they see you doing it.

Other examples of polite behavior include not interrupting people when they are talking, offering to help if they need it, and good table manners

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 3

Step 3. Help at home

A great way to be a responsible big sister is to show your younger siblings the importance of helping around the house. You can help your parents with the laundry, tidying up your room, dressing your siblings before school, or setting the dinner table, for example. Regardless of what you do, do it with affection and between smiles, to encourage your siblings to do the same.

  • Try to do these things just to be helpful and not because you are expecting some reward for it.
  • If you don't know what you can do to help, ask a parent. For example, you might say "Mom, I know you're pretty busy. What can I do to help with dinner?"
Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 4

Step 4. Apologize when you make a mistake

Everyone makes mistakes, so don't worry about being the perfect sister. If you do something wrong, take it. Apologize and accept the consequences of your actions. This makes your younger siblings understand that it's okay to make mistakes as long as you fix them and do better next time.

For example, if you're late for school and yell at your little sister because she wants to borrow a hair band, when you get home, give her a hug and say, “I'm sorry I yelled at you. I should have cashed it that way."

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 5

Step 5. Study hard if you are still in school

A good education is important for your future, but it can also impact your siblings' future. If they see you prioritizing homework, they might study harder too because they feel they should follow their example.

A great way to be a responsible big sister is to help your siblings with their homework. You probably already know how to do it and may be able to explain the exercises to them in other ways that make more sense

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 6

Step 6. Show empathy for people who need help

It's very easy to focus on your own life and your family, but take the time to put yourself in others' shoes. Even if you feel you can't do anything to help, sometimes a small gesture of kindness can help change the way your younger siblings see the world. In fact, this can have an even greater impact than your parents' attitude toward other people.

For example, if you see someone drop a bag of coins, stop and help the person pick it up. This simple act of kindness can mean a lot to someone who is having a bad day

You can volunteer to make a difference in your community

Helping out at the church bazaar or women's shelter is a great lesson in empathy and at the same time helps you to appreciate more of what your family has. Then you can pass that attitude on to your siblings.

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 7

Step 7. Avoid risky behavior that your siblings might copy

Even though it's natural to want to live your own life, try to avoid things that cause problems. When faced with a temptation, take a moment to think about what your siblings would think if they saw you doing this. Even if they are not around at the time, the consequences of this can still affect them and the chances that they will reproduce this behavior will be greater.

For example, don't start smoking or stop if you already smoke. If you are a smoker, your younger siblings are more likely to get this addiction too

Method 2 of 2: Creating a Good Relationship with Your Siblings

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 8

Step 1. Love your siblings just the way they are

Even though you were raised a lot alike, you and your siblings are individuals and each has its own personality. Instead of thinking your siblings should be more like you, accept them the way they are. It helps you to have a closer relationship with them now and in the future when each of you is doing your own thing and going about your own business.

Also, avoid comparing yourself to your siblings. For example, if your little brother is great at playing the piano and you're not, don't think there's something wrong with you. Prefer to focus on finding your own talents

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 9

Step 2. Be patient with your siblings

The younger siblings seem to know exactly which toes to step on to piss you off in a matter of seconds. But most of the time they just do it to get your attention. When they do, take a deep breath to calm yourself down and try to redirect them to something positive.

For example, if your brother is repeating everything you say, instead of getting nervous, try saying something like "Are you bored? Let's write a song together!"

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 10

Step 3. Find things you can do together

Sometimes it's hard to find something to do with your siblings, especially if the age difference is big. However, as a big sister, try to take responsibility for finding some activities that you can do together.

  • For example, teach your siblings to play a board game, play with a ball in the backyard, or do some crafts with them.
  • This gives you and your siblings a nice time to bond with each other, which makes things easier in the long run.
Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 11

Step 4. Tell your siblings that they can come find you when they have a problem

Try to be the kind of person your siblings can trust when it comes to sharing problems or confessing things. Tell them you're there to help and listen when they need it. Give them your full attention whenever possible. Then give advice that you believe will help them.

For example, if one of your younger sisters is having a crush on a boy at school, tell her she can talk to you about it. And don't make fun of her about it (and don't even tell anyone)


if one of your siblings says he or someone else is in danger, find an adult.

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 12

Step 5. Let your siblings help you too

Sometimes it can feel awkward opening up to someone much younger than you, but if you want to be closer to your siblings, you need to be willing to accept their support as well. If you're having a problem, talk about it with your brother in an age-appropriate way. It might make you feel better!

For example, if you're full of things to do, both in and out of school and you're exhausted, talk it over with your little sister. You might be surprised what she will say about the situation

Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 13

Step 6. Be mature when you have a fight with your siblings

Even if you try very hard to be patient, it's almost inevitable to fight your siblings at some point. However, at this point it's very easy to do and say things that will hurt them, so the best thing to do is get away if you can. As soon as you feel yourself getting nervous, take a deep breath and ask to be alone for a while. When you're calmer, you can try talking to your brother about what happened, if you like.

  • For example, if your brother was playing horseback riding and accidentally tore your shirt, you might feel like screaming or even pinching him. The best thing to do here is to calm down and then explain that he made you very upset (carefully).
  • Sometimes your younger siblings don't respect your privacy or your space. If this happens, call an adult to intervene, put on a headset, or go into the bathroom and lock the door for a few minutes.
Be a Responsible Eldest Sister Step 14

Step 7. Ask an adult for help if you feel you cannot handle the situation

Asking for help when you need it demonstrates more responsibility, even if it doesn't seem like it, and is an important part of being a big sister. If your sibling tells you that he has a problem that an adult needs to solve, for example, go talk to your parents or someone you trust. It's also good to call an adult if your sibling threatens to hit you or actually hit you, or if a fight gets out of hand and you need someone to sort it out.

  • Seek an adult immediately if your siblings or anyone else is in danger. For example, tell an adult if your sibling is being bullied, is thinking about getting hurt, or that one of his friends is being abused.
  • Your brother may be mad at you for telling an adult what he said, but he will thank you later when he grows up and remembers the situation (hopefully).


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