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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Oh dear, I know it's the summer holidays and time hangs heavy on the kids' hands some days, but my older son is giving us some trouble, and I would appreciate some advice from people with more experience of this than me. I am an only child, so it is really hard for me to judge what is normal and what is not.

He is 15, and his younger brother is 10. Age 15 has organised nothing to do in the holidays, and drops out of everything that we had agreed he would do - camping and sports trips, that sort of thing. Needless to say, his days (or what is left of them by the time we manage to get him out of bed at any time between midday and 3pm) are spent on screens. Any attempt to persuade him to do anything else is met with surly protest. :roll:

When I was his age I was constantly out of the house with friends, working to earn money or doing voluntary work. Maybe that's a girl thing? However, younger son is very sociable and constantly wants to have friends round, and to get up and do things and go places.

They get on OK most of the time, but when older son gets fed up with his brother, he can really be thoroughly nasty to him, making comments such as "you've got no friends" (patently untrue), or become aggressive towards him. Sometimes that spills over into physical violence - pushing, shoving or shaking him. There is a big difference in size between them, and the results are sometimes quite worrying. (He was also aggressive at Scouts on one occasion this year, which worried me at the time, but the leaders said that it didn't happen again, so I swept it under the mental carpet. :oops: )

Obviously we make it clear what the unacceptable behaviour is and there are penalties - screens are taken away, sometimes "penalty tasks" are set, such as clearing out the garage. Basically an advanced version of Toddler Taming!

The question is - how unusual is this sort of violent reaction between brothers of this sort of age? At what point does it become something that I should look for more help with - or am I already there? :shock:

Any other advice will be very welcome as well. :D

(P.S. I should say that Age 15 isn't actually a total monster all the time - he can even be quite nice sometimes!)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I'm afraid that I have no concrete help Denise, I can merely sympathise as the parent of children 4 years apart, the 11 year old fell over , cut his lip badly and was called 'freak boy' ( abbreviated to 'freak' for the next 3 years) by his elder sister.


The only consolation I can give is that they leave home eventually


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
I'm feeling that this might be par for the course Denise at the age of 15 but I have no experience to back this up (other than I have experience of a 13 year old behaving in much the same way!)

There does seem to be quite a contrast between your 2 sons, but there is a huge gap between them at the ages of 10 and 15; probably one of the biggest 5 year gaps if that makes sense as they are either side of puberty. Perhaps your 15 year old was not so different from DS2 at the age of 10?

I hope that you get some advice from more experienced parents than me. Trying to keep the channels of communication open is important (although if you had heard me let rip at Ed today you would be thinking me a hypocrite).

All the best x


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:12 pm 
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I have four boys. The eldest two are nearly 12 and nearly 11. They have always got on fantastically with the odd falling out now and again lately though the arguments have increased and yes they are often very physical, it can be scary. Truthfully so are the two younger boys 4 and 6 when they fall out.

I think it is a boy thing as my elder sister and I were rarely physical when we argued although my brother, the eldest, if he fell out with my sis was pretty scared of her and I did see him cowering once when he thought she was going to go for him!

They seem to survive though and I often think intervention from me just makes them worse. The little boys though will complain if one of the bigger boys hurts them though a crtain amount of tussle seems to be acceptable :shock: .

I haven't read it for a while but have you tried Raising boys, I found that quite a good book.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:43 am
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Can he/you arrange some outings with his friends, this may help as they will have a bit of space from each other.

My cousins, boy and girl 6 years apart, many moons ago, used to fight like cat and dog. It got very physical at times and I was scared as an observer. I was younger than both of them so couldn't intervene. As adults they are extremely close.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:29 pm 
I think 15 is a very difficult age both for parents and children.

My eldest (a girl) is turning into a lovely adult at 21 but was a vile monster at 15 who was appalling (both physically and mentally) to her 12 year old brother who was appalling in turn when he reached 15 to his 8 year old sister. Unfortunately the 8 year old is now 12 and in 3 years' time it will only be us poor parents at home to bear the brunt of it all.

All of the sweetness in them seems to depart at 15 but none of the maturity has arrived. Deep down they know they are being appalling but can't seem to help it and the younger sibling still being pleasant and sweet around the place makes them seem even worse, causing resentment.

At any rate, I would save your energy for the important battles and avoid any unnecessary confrontation.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Oh, what a relief to know that I am not the only Mum seeing physical violence between brothers! :D

Thank you for the replies from all to date.

Tolstoy, I did read Raising Boys at one point, but for some reason I found it very hard going. Maybe I'm now findng out why? :shock:

fm - yes, we have to "choose our battles", but last night's incident really had me jumping and worrying. I love your comments - that they know they are being appalling, and that younger sweet sibling must annoy the life out of them.

I think I will be using that with older son in tomorrow's conversation. Thank you. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Hi Denise

I have a 17 year old - completely hideous to his 11 year old sister at ALL times and, occasionally, physically spiteful to his 13 year old brother. Yet he was the one who offered to come to the supermarket with me last night, wheeling the trolley around and being completely charming. He definitely knows when he is being horrid but seems to be taken over by some sort of seething resentment which he can sometimes barely control. He has, in the past, asked me for a punch bag - maybe not such a bad idea if it helps him to vent some of his frustration. Despite that fact that he has a 6ft 2ins frame, it still sometimes seems to be inhabited by an immature boy. Good luck with yours!

Sianyn


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:32 pm 
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This thread has been a bit of a godsend for me as I was beginning to despair of my elder DSs too and it is a relief to see that DS1 is rather normal.

The plus side is they had a very physical todo at the beginning of the hols so bad they were given the option of a summer long grounding or cleaning duties. Needless to say they are still out and about and I have been having a very lazy summer the best ever as I HATE cleaning :lol:.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
My 14 yr old DS has had some time in front of screens (usually when convenient for me to work etc) but I have clamped down some days. They are called "no screen days" in our house and apply after the initial slump in front of TV. This has prompted him to get off the settee and actually arrange to meet friends/go to one anothers houses etc. When faced with dire alternatives kids seem to be able to find some thing appropriate to do!


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