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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Can't get along with my brother. - October 18th 2014, 02:47 PM

My little brother and I don't get along. I get along pretty well with everyone else in my family. I mean, my mom and I have some problems, but they're hers, not my mine, so I can ignore them.

I don't know what it is about my brother. He can be eating, moving his foot, standing, talking, walking - and I can't bear it. I either leave the room, or I end up yelling at him. It's completely illogical. He does everything wrong. He has terrible manners. He yells at my mother, demands that she do everything for him (even though he's ten), refuses to clean up after himself, and all he does is sit there and eat all day, watching TV. He knows what annoys me, so when he wants to watch TV, he'll sit there on the end of the couch and do exactly what annoys me, knowing that either (1) I'll leave the room, or (2) I'll yell at him, and someone else will yell at me, and I'll get upset and leave the room. He disrespects me, and treats me like I'm the scum beneath his feet. He tries to tell me what to do, and when I tell him to back off, I get in trouble with my parents. We're very poor, and he always begs my parents for expensive toys (even though they're barely managing to pay the bills), which I know makes them feel bad. He tells awful, inappropriate jokes, and gets angry when people don't laugh at them. He talks through all of our television shows when he wants the television, so we'll leave and he can have it sooner. He's cruel to our kittens (flips them upside down so that they meow for help, holds down ones that are terrified of him, grabs them by their tails, throws them twelve feet up in the air off our front porch, etc.). When I confront him about it, he puffs out his chest and says: "Stop yelling at me!" That inevitably brings my parents into the situation, and gets me sent to my room. If that isn't enough, he talks constantly (he has ADHD, which my mom refuses to get him treatment for), and he gets angry when people stop listening to him. He tries to rename my pets, and gets angry when I tell him that I'm taking them with me when I move. He asks senseless questions, constantly, and then he stays on the subject, dissecting the subject until I want to slap him. I know that sounds awful, but I never actually slapped him, not until the time he slapped me on the ass. Then I did slap him, and I got in trouble for defending myself.

It's like living with Dudley Dursley.

I can't take it anymore. I'm moving out in three or four months (as soon as my tiny house is finished), but in this moment, I can't take it. He's so disrespectful toward everyone, he does things I never would've been permitted to do as a child, and the only excuse my parents afford him is that "he's a little boy". And they still treat me like a child! I'm eighteen, for crying out loud, and they still threaten to ground me any time I open my mouth to reprimand him, no matter if I use a sweet tone of voice or not. I used to babysit him when we were smaller, so I got used to somewhat raising him, and all of a sudden I'm not allowed to do anything. If I try to say anything, my parents get angry with me, and then he sticks his tongue out at me and says that I can't tell him what to do. Yet, when he tells me what to do, and I get angry, suddenly I'm the culprit!

It kills me. I've half a mind to get an ax, head into the woods, and start chopping down trees to finish my tiny house ASAP. I can't take another year like this.
   
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Re: Can't get along with my brother. - October 18th 2014, 04:31 PM

Hi there,

I was in a similar position years ago, when I was younger. Everything about my younger brother annoyed me, but he got away with so much, and I was always made out to look like the Ďbadí one for telling him off.

It sounds to me like your brother would benefit with routine and structure in his life. Things like manners and cleaning up after himself are things that he will need to take on board as he grows up, so it is for his benefit as well as for you and your family. Perhaps you could talk to your parents about this? If you do, try to phrase it in a positive way, such as he is growing up and needs these skills, and they may be more receptive to the idea.

Does he get disciplined at all, or is it just you? He should not be treating you or your mother like scum, and he will need to learn to respect others. Iím wondering what he is like in school? I also think that you shouldnít give in to what he does to annoy you. I know thatís hard, but if he carries on, he will think that he has complete control over you, which he should not. Same goes for when he talks over the TV.

Why does he beg your parents for expensive presents? Is it peer pressure, like he seeís other children with expensive things and feels left out? If that is the case, does he know that your family canít afford expensive things all the time? I think someone should take their time to explain these things to him, and make him value what he already has.

Do your parents know about his behaviour towards the kittens? Itís a bit concerning for a ten year old, but it may be a trait of ADHD that he simply isnít aware of the fact that what he is doing can be harmful. Speaking of ADHD, why doesnít your mother want to get him treated? It may seem easier to ignore it, and some parents may feel a bit lost when their child has been diagnosed with ADHD, but reading up on it, and maybe looking into medication or therapies to calm him down, will benefit everyone.

Talking constantly and staying on subject is also part of ADHD. Perhaps someone could teach him about conversations and turn taking?

As bad as it is, I did chuckle at the Dudley Dursley reference

Age difference can also affect how you feel towards your brother- but thatís natural. I think it would be great for you to get some distance away from your brother, and your parents if they still treat you like a child. Try to hang in there! But for the time being, I would suggest trying to have a serious conversation with your parents about his behaviour. It may all be symptomatic of ADHD, and so treatment would help, but I think most children (and especially those with learning difficulties) would prefer to have routine and structure in their lives.


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Arrow Re: Can't get along with my brother. - October 19th 2014, 12:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchWelshWolf View Post
It sounds to me like your brother would benefit with routine and structure in his life. Perhaps you could talk to your parents about this?
I've talked to them. They just tell me he's a little boy, and to leave him alone. I don't mean to sound as if the suggestion is a bad one - it's a very good one, which I've tried myself. I've tried the uber-serious "cold hard truth" lecture, the respectful "he needs manners" conversation, and the blunt "he has no manners, fix it" notification. None worked.

Quote:
Does he get disciplined at all, or is it just you? Iím wondering what he is like in school?
My brother has a bit of discipline when my father's around, but neither of our parents - though they love us very much - are structured people. There aren't solid rules that we aren't allowed to disobey. They just kind of wing it. Since my father became the stay-at-home parent, my parents have run into a lot of issues with him, mostly because if one doesn't allow what he wants, he'll go to the other, who'll allow it.

My brother had a lot of difficulties in school. His teacher summoned my mother to school to discuss his fidgeting, his constant talking, and his inability to concentrate. She recommended he be evaluated for ADHD. My mom decided that the teacher (and the entire school system) was at fault, and withdrew him to home-school him. She fights with him constantly, trying to get him to finish his work correctly. I was home-schooled myself (so was my little sister), but I worry that he's not receiving an adequate education due to his ADHD, and my mom's inability to cope with it.

Quote:
Why does he beg your parents for expensive presents?
I don't know why he does. He's not in school, so he's not in contact with other children to be jealous of. Our financial situation is well-known to everyone inside the house.

Quote:
Do your parents know about his behaviour towards the kittens?
Yeah, my mom's aware of it. My dad is, too. Any time I say anything, they say "he's just playing with them" or "they're just cats" or "Anna, leave him alone". They're my cats, too.

Quote:
Speaking of ADHD, why doesnít your mother want to get him treated?
My mom thinks it's imaginary. She has mental problems that she takes medication for (I'm not exactly certain what for, but I suspect depression/minor bipolar disorder), but she believes ADHD is a hoax, so she won't have him even evaluated, despite his old school's recommendation, my grandmother's recommendation, and my personal recommendation.

Quote:
Talking constantly and staying on subject is also part of ADHD. Perhaps someone could teach him about conversations and turn taking?
My parents are trying. I can tell they are. They don't know how to deal with him. My mom will tell him to shut up; my dad will tell him he's driving the topic into the ground. And that's about the end of it.

My mom put me in charge of teaching him when she got her job. It lasted one day. He was fidgeting, he kept talking about random objects in the room (rather than asking questions concerning the subject), and he wouldn't pay attention to what I was trying to say.

So, me being me, I told him - respectfully, and patiently - that I knew it was difficult for him to concentrate, and that he might have to try extra hard, because I believe he has un-diagnosed ADHD. I thought it might help him to be aware that he had a problem, so he himself could work on it. He became angry, threw his papers down, crossed his arms, and when I attempted to apologize, he stormed out of the room. My dad came in yelling at me for telling him he had a "disorder," and my mom got angry with me. I had to apologize really fast, and my little brother acted pleased that I was in trouble. He has this smug, satisfied little smile he wears when he knows he's won. It drives me up the wall.

Quote:
I think it would be great for you to get some distance away from your brother, and your parents if they still treat you like a child. Try to hang in there!
Yeah, I'm working on that one. I'm not moving away very farm (I'll still be on the family farm), but I'm hoping that the quiet will give me the concentration I need to really buckle down on studying. I'm planning on taking my ACT next spring, and trying college again.

Quote:
As bad as it is, I did chuckle at the Dudley Dursley reference
That was the most well-known fictional character I know that acts like him. I'm hoping he'll grow up to be a better person, like Dudley did... But sometimes I seriously doubt it.

I think I'm so apt to reprimand him because, where we live, there's drugs everywhere. More than is usual, at least. If he doesn't get his problems worked out in childhood, I'm afraid he'll become an addict later in life, because around here, it's the easiest way to cope with one's problems. Not to mention that, with the way he treats my mother, I'm seriously, seriously afraid that he'll become an abusive husband when he gets older.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I feel kind of responsible for him. He's my little brother, no matter how annoying he is.
   
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Re: Can't get along with my brother. - October 19th 2014, 11:30 AM

Iíve just realised how many questions I ask

That sounds like a really tough situation, especially if you have tried all formats of talking to your parents. There isnít much you can do, and you certainly donít want to take on the role of parent! It also sounds like more communication is needed between your parents, regarding rules etc.

I havenít had personal experience of dealing with ADHD but have had some classroom experience, and it can be hard, depending on the Ďseverityí of ADHD. Some children have medication and can be fine in class, though they may play up occasionally. Others need to have one-to-one help and support, with a Learning Support Assistant, as well as the classroom teacher. It may well be the case that if your mum struggles, that he may not be getting as much as education as he would do with extra support.

Unfortunately, my mum also believes ADHD is a hoax. My mum believes that it is down to inadequate parenting. Personally, I believe that ADHD is real, but some children get misdiagnosed with it, because of their behaviour, which could be down to many things, including parenting. I think the only thing you could do here, is print some information off about ADHD. I believe that our parents were brought up in the time when conditions didnít have names, so there appeared to be less mental health and behavioural issues. Now with more research, we appear to have more Ďlabelsí, but chances are, these conditions have always been around, just not heard of. Hence our parents probably donít believe them.

Your parents sound like mine years ago The teachers in my school thought my brother had dyspraxia, so arranged a meeting with my parents. They didnít want to know either, and never told him that he may have dyspraxia (to this day he still doesnít know (something I disagree with) and he was never properly evaluated either). I once told him he had dyspraxia and I got yelled at too. And like your brother, my brother had this really smug face. Thinking about it, itís probably not our place to say that anyway

Even though you wonít be far, I think the bit of distance and quietness will help! Especially since you need to study (good luck with that!)

You are not over-reacting- you are a very loving sister, who wants whatís best for her brother, herself and her family. You canít get better than that! It is very natural to worry about how your brother will grow up given the problems he is facing now- I do that too.

Hope things get better for you all


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Re: Can't get along with my brother. - October 19th 2014, 03:34 PM

You do ask lots of questions, but how else can a person learn, without asking questions?

I don't know if I'll be able to do anything in this situation. As you pointed out, I really don't want to take on the role of the parent... I might print some information off and give it to my parents, but I'm not sure that would help. It may just exacerbate the situation further.

Thank you for talking to me. Sometimes it just helps to know that I'm not the only person who's gone through the sorts of problems I'm having. It makes the situation feel more manageable.
   
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