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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Sibling Fights

I am a 17-year- old and my sister is 21. I do not get along with her most of the times. We have rarely showed each other affection. We have fights daily and it gets very nasty. I hardly share things with her. We just have very different opinions and I feel she nags me a lot. I see other sisters getting along so well and I desire that kind of a relationship. However, whatever I do to be nice to her, it always backfires in some or the other way. What should I do about this? It makes the environment at home very unhealthy.

Ans: The age gap is isn’t much to begin with. You may start with at least narrowing down to few activities that both of you enjoy as these could be used as an ice-breaker. It could be music, reading, attending some workshop but something that both of you like. You could arrange an evening of dinner with her so as to just converse with her in a way that doesn’t lead to arguments. If being at home brings in arguments, shift the activities outside home. The idea is to strike an amicable relationship and it doesn’t matter if you must take the first step which is received coldly. Don’t be discouraged, at times other individuals might resist seeing how much one tries to work towards the relationship.


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Defiant daughter

My 14-year-old daughter is lately showing immense behavioural issues. She won’t talk to me and my wife cordially would snap at her younger brother and at times bully him. She dislikes anyone touching her things and tidy her room. She is becoming secretive and this is causing an alarm at home. I was recently going through her laptop for some old data of mine and found few pictures of her in a compromising position with her guy friend. I am yet to approach her on this topic as I am not sure the best way to do so. Please guide. 

Ans: The behaviour symptoms mentioned suggest oppositional defiant behaviour which needs to be tackled with love and care rather than attacking mode. The behaviour is no doubt acceptable towards you or your wife and son, but it’s essential to understand where it’s coming from. Consult a child psychologist or a psychiatrist working with young adults to get an idea as to how to deal with her in a way that doesn’t corner her or make her feel as if she has an issue. as far as the issue with her being comfortable with a guy, try and approach her in a very general way about being close to opposite gender and its implications due to one being misinformed about something. This will help her see you as her friend rather than a parent who is judging her.

Body issues

I am an 18-year-old college going teen who is not very confident about her body. All the girls in my college have a perfectly slim figure and I don’t. I feel like I look hideous and unattractive. my relationship with food is unhealthy- I feel immense guilt when I eat. Hence, I starve myself for a couple of days after I have binged. I am constantly trying to reduce my portion sizes and a number of meals a day. This leaves me looking pale and feel constantly tired but the weight does not seem to go. I want to have a healthy diet and feel good about myself. I just don’t know how. 

Ans: The unhealthy eating, as well as weight losing practices, need to cease as soon as possible. These methods are doing more harm than any good. Consult a nutritionist and get a balanced diet chart, get your medical tests done to find out if there is any physical ailment causing weight gain, lastly the idea of losing weight should be for personal reasons: being healthy and happy with self. If the goal of weight loss is to fit in the environment, then it might be much harder task than what it appears to be. Motivation to do the things if placed correctly can do wonders for you.

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Alcoholic father

My father drinks alcohol daily. There are some days when he drinks more than normal. My siblings and I have seen him getting drunk at several occasions. He says he drinks to drown his sorrow because of some lost ancestral money. I am worried of the kind of impression that leaves on my younger brother since he looks up to my father as a role model. I also feel that my father does all this just to gain sympathy. I want him to stop drinking, what should I do?

Ans: The usual pattern of an addict doesn’t allow them to accept that it is a problem for the family and self as well. You would require professional help to help your father in his addiction. There is a need for intervention when he is sober and can understand what is the effect his drinking habit is leading to. Also, involve other elders in this process as it might get difficult to handle your father in case he refuses to acknowledge the problem. conveying that it is important to resolve the underlying causes of sadness is much better than resorting to alcohol.