Do you have a younger brother or sister at home? If you said yes, then you have probably experienced having your stuff "borrowed" or disrupted without your permission. Here are my suggestions for how to keep siblings at bay, protect your belongings, and avoid starting a family war!
Tip #1. Talk to Your Siblings
If your sibling(s) are old enough to understand and have a conversation with you, then talk with them about how you feel when they get into your stuff. Politely ask them to leave your things alone. If your siblings are too young to understand, then talk to your parents about keeping them out of your space.
Tip #2. Give Them Their Own
Figure out why your brothers or sisters keep playing with your things. Does sis keep stealing your pens because she doesn't have any of her own? Perhaps you could give her some of yours to keep, or talk to your parents about getting her some of her own. Oftentimes, siblings simply use your things because they don't have that item.
Tip #3: Offer Replacements
Maybe your brothers and sisters play with your things because they are bored. Try setting limits around what they can and can't play with - for example, say "no" to the books and crafts supplies, but let them borrow your blankets and stuffed animals. Offering replacements might help keep them entertained and your most precious items safe from little fingers.
Tip #4. Put it Out of Reach
Identify what things you've got that you really don't want sibs to touch. For example, jewelry, cosmetics, keepsakes, or school books/papers. Put these items up out of their reach, so there is no chance of them stealing those items. You can fill in lower spaces with items that are less valuable or harder to damage.
Tip #5. Don't Lose your Temper
I know, I know, I know. It's HARD. However, you are the big sister in this situation - you are not the preschooler. Show your siblings, your parents, and yourself that you know how to handle things in a mature way. While it is perfectly normal not to want sibs stealing your stuff, make sure that you handle the situation with peace and with love - not with anger (you can pray for this!). Honestly, I still struggle in this area, so you are not alone.
Thank you for reading!