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.
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.
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?
Any other advice will be very welcome as well.
(P.S. I should say that Age 15 isn't actually a total monster all the time - he can even be quite nice sometimes!)