Dear American Girl,
My brother teases me a lot. I know it's his way of being funny and trying to make people laugh, but it's starting to hurt my feelings. How can I make the teasing stop?
Here's your advice:
Tell him how you feel. Chances are, he doesn't realize that he's hurting you and doesn't know how far he's taking his jokes. In any case, you should talk to him about the teasing so that he knows how you're feeling. If that doesn't work, go to a parent.
-Elsie, age 14, Alabama
Your brother is probably doing this because he wants people to think he's funny. Try to be an example to him. Make people laugh with your own jokes, without teasing others. Your brother might start to understand that you don't need to be a bully to make people laugh.
-Serena, age 11, California
If the teasing gets to be too much, walk away and spend some time alone. Read in your room or go to a friend's house.
-Ava, age 8, New Jersey
Don't tease your brother back—that'll only make things worse.
-Olivia, age 10, Canada
Try to ignore the jokes. I have four siblings who tease me a lot, and I've learned to just ignore them. If your brother sees that he's not getting a reaction from you, he will probably stop teasing you because it won't be as much fun for him.
-Georgie, age 12, Michigan
I have two brothers, and they tease me a lot. The next time your brother bugs you, say, "You are the funniest person I've ever met." Then roll your eyes and walk away. He should see that you don't think his jokes are funny.
-Madison, age 13, New Jersey
Remember, if you talk to your parents about your brother's teasing, it's not tattling. You could start the conversation by saying, "I need some advice."
-Hannah, age 11, Pennsylvania
Talk to your brother. Say, "Hey, the teasing is getting old, and your jokes are making me feel bad. Could you please stop?"
-Allison, age 12, Kansas
Even though doing this might be hard, I've found that the best thing to do is to try to laugh with the person who is teasing you. Turn it into a joke, or just chuckle and walk away. He will see that the jokes aren't bothering you.
-Susanna, age 13, California
My little brother teases me, too. Every time your brother bothers you, it's his way of saying that he wants your attention. Take some time to play with him or help him with his homework. Give him the attention he's looking for. Spending quality time together can improve your relationship.
-Caty, age 12, Massachusetts
The next time your brother makes a hurtful joke, say, "I know you're trying to make me laugh, but it's not working. Try something else."
-Olivia, age 9, New York
Your brother is being a bully. Remember to stop, walk, and talk. First, ask him to stop. Say, "It hurts my feelings when you tease me. Please stop." Then walk away. If the teasing continues to be a problem, talk to a parent. By the way, this can work on all bullies, not just your brother!
-Emily, age 10, Michigan
I have two siblings, and sometimes we go overboard with teasing. When things get out of hand, one of us uses a silly word—we like to shout out, "Pickles!" It usually makes us laugh, and the teasing stops.
-Britta, age 11, Virginia
Let him know when the joking has gone too far. Be calm yet firm, and let him know that you think the teasing is rude. He can find something else to joke about that won't hurt anyone's feelings.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, California
I have four brothers, and I'm used to getting teased. Usually I shake off the jokes. I think, Big deal. My brother is just being a show-off and is trying to get people to laugh at his jokes. If it is out of control, I tell a parent. Remember, your brother loves you—he just has a funny way of showing it. Once you both are older, he should realize how much he admires his sister.
-Mary, age 13, North Carolina