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by Abigail Van Buren

College Comes Between Sisters

DEAR ABBY: I have always had an extremely close relationship with my little sister. Last year, I graduated from high school and left for university. It was hard for both of us. My college is an hour away from where my family lives, so even though I live on campus, I try to come home whenever I can to visit on weekends.

Lately it seems like my little sister has emotionally distanced herself from me. She doesn't confide in me anymore, shows little interest in my life, and it has gotten to the point where she barely acknowledges me in public. I have tried talking to her about it and telling her how much it hurts me, but she tells me I'm overreacting and to stop being stupid.

My mom says she does this with everyone and that this is typical for a 14-year-old teenager, but it breaks my heart to be so excluded from her life. Is this just a phase I have to learn to deal with and accept? What should I do? -- SAD BIG SISTER IN SWITZERLAND

DEAR BIG SISTER: Your sister is growing up, and part of that process means becoming an individual. Right now she is trying to figure out who she is, apart from the family she loves -- including you. I'm sure she isn't intentionally trying to hurt your feelings. Because you were so close, she may have felt abandoned when you left for college. Your mother is right about this. Let your sister evolve. She'll be back. Accept it for now.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens