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Bad brother

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by avatar Essie 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #716593 Reply
    Mansi Kapoor

    I’m a girl aged 19. We are a family of 4-mom,dad,younger brother and me. My brother is 14 years old. He is a problem for us.
    1) He does not eat food. (Other children throw tantrums but can be convincef. He is just out of control) When my mom tries to make him eat anything, he replies her VERY rudely. He sometimes even hits my mom. My mom cannot fight back.

    2) He does not show any interest in studies. Because of him my mom keeps on shouting all day which affects her health. My dad shouts on my mom because the house is in total chaos. I support my mom but we cannot find a solution to this. My dad is reluctant to shout on my brother. My brother is very stubborn. I want to get rid of him. Mom and I are tired. We are not in a position to go for counselling of my brother because of financial issues. Can anyone suggest a solution?

    While I write this, my house is in silence because mom left the house following an argument with my brother and dad.

    #716594 Reply

    Your family needs to find out about free counseling services through his school or the state. They do exist and financially able or not he has to go. There are no ifs ands or buts. There is no other solution.

    #716597 Reply

    Ok, you aren’t being abused, correct? Your parents and brother scream at each other and your brother hits your mom? I mean, welcome to my life as a teenager. With the added fun of my mom hitting me and me hitting her.

    There’s nothing you can do except try to keep your wits about you, try to find quiet places to study, and move out as soon as you can. He’s not your problem. If he was seriously hurting your mom, I suppose you could call the police, but I think you’re nuts if you believe your mom would press charges and / or ask to have him removed from her home and placed in “the system,” whatever that looks like in your country.

    TL;DR: not your problem, worry about yourself.

    #716600 Reply

    First off, your mom needs to stop yelling at your brother all the time. Especially about food. If she prepares a meal and he doesn’t want to eat it, he doesn’t eat. No need to argue about it. He’s 14, not 4. He can control what does or does not go in his own mouth. My kids are ages 13-20. If they don’t want what I make, they can fix themselves something else. If they do want something from me, they can ask nicely or I’m not doing it. I don’t yell at them about it, I simply ask if they’d like to try that again. No fighting about it. Of course I’ve been doing this since they were little so it’s not really an issue now. It would take quite a while to “retrain” a teenager.

    Same with schoolwork. My husband and I keep up with their grades and are happy to help if they need it. Otherwise we may remind them an assignment is due, but if they fail a class and have to repeat it, maybe they’ll learn to start getting their work done. We used to fuss about it but found it didn’t motivate anyone to get anything done. So sink or swim – their choice. The one child who really was not into school did manage to graduate high school on time last year!

    I have no idea why your mother has made it her mission in life to harass your brother all day every day, but I’m not at all surprised he’s acting out. And here you are talking about
    him being “bad” and wanting to get rid of him like he were old smelly shoes. OF COURSE he’s lashing out and out of control! Thank heavens your father is there – at least there’s one person in the house who’s not verbally abusing this child.

    Just like your mother can’t control your brother, you can’t control your mother. You can, however, control yourself and can choose not to get in the middle of this. You might even try treating your brother like a human being (though it will take a long time to earn his trust). I agree that counselling is not optional here. You all need help in learning how to communicate with each other and create appropriate boundaries. Your brother especially desperately needs someone who will actually listen to him and help him learn better ways to cope with his anger and stress.

    Again, family therapy isn’t within your control either. You can encourage it and look for affordable resources, but you can’t make anyone else do it. You can still help yourself though. You are an adult and can go to therapy on your own. Are you in school? Colleges have free counselling services for students. The absolute very least you can do is to check out some books from the library on creating healthier family dynamics. You’ve had horrible examples. Do everything you can to make sure you don’t repeat this pattern in your own life and relationships.

    #716603 Reply

    It sounds to me like he might be on the autism spectrum. My older brother was similar to this, everything but the hitting, and as he’s aged I can see that he has issues with understanding social interaction. My brother’s never been diagnosed, but with what I’ve mentioned and a number of other symptoms, I’m pretty sure of it. I wish he had been diagnosed because then he could have had some help, but back then they didn’t really recognize/diagnose the mild cases.

    Anyway, I would say your first step might be to research it and see if the symptoms match your brother, and if they do, show your parents your research. That will hopefully be enough to convince them to bring him in for diagnosis. And if he doesn’t match the symptoms, then definitely therapy, as others have mentioned.

    #716605 Reply
    Leslie Joan

    I would suggest that you read the book, “the Explosive Child”, by Dr Ross Green. See if you recognize your brother and your family situation in that. I found it very helpful for my ADHD and oppositional son. Then see if your MOM will read it…..

    Yelling will not help. That should be very apparent to everyone by now. There are some very useful techniques that Dr Green suggests, but first and foremost is eliminating the unimportant demands. This means that your mom needs to be willing to drop her end of the rope in this tug-of-war between herself and your brother, because you are all losing. It may take a bit of time to see results, and she will have to get over the idea that outside people may misjudge her because they think she’s being “soft” on him – but the fact is that nobody else has a right to judge if they aren’t in the situation, because they really know nothing. Your mother may have a hard time letting go of the ineffective approach she’s been using, but it’s already been proven not to work, so what does she have to lose?

    #716606 Reply
    Leslie Joan

    One more thing – I wince a bit at your characterization of your brother as “bad.” Mind you, I am not disagreeing that he is difficult and challenging to raise. But, I don’t think he is intentionally “being bad;” he is being himself, and your parents’ approach to managing him is not what he needs and is making things worse for all of you. Reframing the issue can be very instructive: I was certainly very challenged to try to raise my son, but my idea was that it was my job as a parent to figure out how to address his issues, instead of keeping on doing the same things that didn’t work. I’m not saying it’s not frustrating at times to be the parent of a difficult kid, but it’s the challenge we take on when we choose to have a kid, and we need to remember that it’s not easy for the kid, either. I know it’s hard to remember that as a parent, sometimes, when you are frustrated and feel out of options. But parents’ behavior has an influence on the kid’s. I will say that I cried when I read the book I recommended, because I *finally* felt that someone understood, and offered meaningful help. Just please don’t demonize your brother, as tempting as it may be.

    #716609 Reply

    The way you describe the situation, your brother sounds like a typical 14 year old boy. Picky eater, not interested in studying. Your mother, on the other hand, sounds like the one with the problem. Your brother should not be hitting your mother, and your father needs to put a stop to that immediately. But damn, if someone were shouting at me all day long, I’d reply to her “VERY rudely,” too.

    Whatever your brother’s problems are, her constant shouting isn’t going to do anything to fix them, and it sounds like it’s going to destroy her marriage. OK, maybe you can’t afford family therapy, but there are books, looking for help online, local support groups for parents of children with learning disabilities, etc. She needs to find another answer.

    And no, you can’t “get rid of” a 14 year old boy. He’s not a “bad brother.” He needs parents who help him resolve whatever his problems are, instead of screaming at him and at each other.

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