View Full Version : sibling issues
06-28-2011, 12:10 PM
I have a 14 year old and a 10 year old (both boys). Because they are homeschooled, they are together a lot. We are out almost every day at classes or social groups and try to keep busy. I am concerned for my younger son because of the frequent namecalling, judging, evaluating negatively and harassing by my older son. Talking doesn't help. Giving 3 strikes doesn't help as older son says "Well, I got my 3 strikes so I can do anything now.". Additionally, older son is in that phase of trying to be the funny and crazy kid (especially in front of his friends who are frequently with us) and takes any opportunity to show off as the kid that will say anything rude to me or others. For the past 3 weeks, older son has been harassing younger son to pay him the "$5 you owe me for that bet". I explained that children under 18 are not allowed to gamble or buy lottery tickets so in the future any "bet" needs to be supervised by an adult. Older son insists that this "rule" was put in place after the bet so he is still owed money. I got angry and said that if that is the case, then he will pay us the $350.00 he owes me for a huge texting bill last year. I took all of his birthday money and calculated that he will not get allowance until February of 2012. He then took the $5 from his brother and gave it to me. They are now off with a friend at the beach and I am home alone stewing. Thoughts?
06-28-2011, 12:11 PM
Additionally, I am concerned for my younger childs self image and self esteem. It is like an angry judging parent is on him all the time.
07-02-2011, 12:18 PM
If you have a trusted advisor, it never hurts to check in with one. It might be time to
find a counselor who deals well with kids. It sounds like your 14-year-old is beyond
the 3-strikes approach.
My son would tease and torment this sister so I would sometimes say similar
things to him and he did not like it.
When they were younger, we implemented a chip program to earn rewards, like
a small toy, selecting a movie, or picking a special dessert. We did this program
for both kids, to reward for good behavior, in addition to no teasing, cleaning
their rooms, getting ready for school, and so on. I don't know if this would work
for your kids. My son did not respond well to punishment, only rewards. Now, at
16 due to some bad choices around substance abuse, we've had to take things away,
Is your son's phone use tied to something you can leverage? Our son's phone use is tied to school work so that helps.
Our son was diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and a mood disorder at 15, which
I think accounts for some of poor treatment of his sister. I think its the ADHD that
makes hims focus teasing on her. I tell him you must focus on something
else now or we'll have to take something away. He's better now with her and
they love each other very much, but he gets in a certain mood and he will direct
his unhappiness on her, but its easier to deflect now.
Good luck, Amimom
07-14-2011, 12:33 PM
You've seen that take-aways don't work with your son, so it's time for some new strategy and tactics. As the prior reader noted, rewards can work much better since they place the power in the hands of your autonomy-demanding son to determine his own future. For example you can say that he can earn things he tells you he wants such as a phone time, money and/or privileges by being respectful, meaning that every AM and every PM he gets through with being decent to folks around him (especially his brother) he earns points towards those privileges. Always set the goal in positive terms ("respect" versus "stop tormenting") and make it clear that he earns or fails to earn these things, and not that you take them away. Be sure that your younger son isn't taking shots when you are not around, which is often the case. If so, he will need a rewards program as well. If this doesn't get it done, it's time to see a counselor for some more help.
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