Get the right gear: “Sharing is caring” may work in daycare, but it doesn’t work when I am forced to listen to “Gangnam Style” (so old and lame), or when my little sister Grace is forced to watch my pick of MasterChef Junior. The easy solution: Pack lots of books we both like, games and puzzles we can play together or separately, and two sets of headphones.
Keep your eyes on the prize: Sometimes younger siblings forget that playing nicely gets rewarded – as does doing boring parent stuff while wearing smiles on our faces. Remind your sibling that you can both have your waffle cones and eat them, too, if you get along and don’t complain. Or at least pretend to get along.
Do your research: Search the internet to make a bucket list of activities you want to do. Make sure you’re big enough to do them, that they’re close to where you’re staying and that they’re available when you’re there. Then check that you can afford them. The work you put in will only strengthen your case with Mom and Dad.
Pretend to give in: Let your younger sibling choose first when parents let you both pick an activity for the day. If he or she picks what you already researched, you still get to do it, right? Everyone wins and no one whines.
Stay separated: If you need time away from your sibling there’s nothing wrong with using your second activity pick on something you know they don’t want to do or simply can’t do because of their size or age (roller-coasters, rock climbing and water slides are three of my favourites). Either way, their vacation battle cry – “It’s not fair!” – is silenced.
Ava Bisby, age 11, lives in Toronto.