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So upset. Rel between DSs :((74 Posts)
DS1 - 11. Aspergers. No SEN in fact in top sets for most subjects. Very easy child, biddable and sunny natured. Charms everyone he meets.
DS2 - 10. NT. Smart but not particularly academic. Struggles a bit at school, not, I suspect because he lacks ability but because he's too interested in mucking about with his mates and being seen to be "cool".
Pretty sure he feels a bit overshadowed by DS1 at times.
They have their spats like most sibs but tonight has really upset me.
It'll probably be quite long, sorry!
I had a crunchie on the work top last night and this evening realised it had gone. It wasn't DH so clearly one of the boys. Both denied taking it and I was pretty pissed off. I hate lying. They know this. If someone had owned up I'd have gone "Oi - hands off my bloody chocolate next time!" and that would have been it. They know that too.
So anyway they go to bed, with me still a bit muttery and chuntery about my crunchie.
Then DS1 came down, saying he wanted to tell me something. I assumed he was about to tell me that DS2 was the culprit - he's got form for lying and pilfering has DS2 - but instead he starts confessing to taking it himself.
I said something reproachfully like "Oh S, why didn't you just own up to start with!" and then he bursts into tears and basically retracts his confession, says it WAS DS2 after all,, gets all upset (he hardly EVER cries) and dashes off upstairs....
Me and DH are left looking at each other like WTF??? when DS2 comes downstairs with his iPod. He says he wants us to listen to something he's recorded. The recording is of DS1 chanting "Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you".
Odd eh? DS2 clearly expects DS1 to be in trouble but he hasn't thought it through. The recording sounds odd - strangely emotionless given the content. How come DS2 happened to be recording when this outburst occurred?
So I go upstairs to DS1 who bursts into fresh tears. I get the whole story:
DS2 was annoying DS1 by not getting out of DS1s room when asked. So DS2 tells DS1 that if he says "Fuck you" five times, he'll leave.
So DS1, whose picture is next to the word "Gullible" in the dictionary, does. Not realising DS2 is recording him.
DS2 has been using this recording to blackmail DS1 for 2 months. The trigger tonight is DS2 telling DS1 "Go and tell mum it was you who took the chocolate otherwise I'll play the recording"
So poor DS1 tried but he A) hates lying and B) hates being naughty.
Naturally DS2 denied this "HES LYING NOBODY EVER BELIEVES MEEEEE!!!" but eventually admitted it.
He's just so nasty and unlikeable sometimes. To his friends but mainly to DS1
How could he do such a rotten thing? DS1 was sobbing "Please please do something about him....he's so horrible to me! He's supposed to love me!"
Thing is I can see how, to DS2, we are softer on DS1. To DS1, on the rare occasions he misbehaves, a stern telling off is enough. He hates being told off. He's always genuinely sorry. Whereas DS2 pushes and pushes, back chats and defies until he ends up with an xbox ban or whatever. If he just kept his lip zipped and didn't argue back he'd have got off with a milder punishment too!
They both know that to DH and me, the worst things you can do are lie, steal and be unkind.
I've raised an unkind monster
I'm sorry to read your post op. I don't really have anything insightful but definitely have a hand to hold. My 2 are like chalk and cheese as well. I sometimes wonder how 2 people can make 2 wildly different offspring. My older brother and I were vile to each other growing up. my db was really horrible to me. Not sure where I'm going with this really other than to let you know you're not alone
Reading back, I can predict what someone will say so I'll pre-empt it:
Yes I do like DS2 (well maybe not at this precise moment....) - he's got loads of qualities. I constantly tell both boys how much I adore them and I mean it. DS2 came back from a school trip and I embarrassed him by bursting into tears when he got off the coach; I was so happy to see him and I think he was inwardly quite chuffed
I always try to praise the good/criticise the action not the child etc. he knows I think he's the bloody bees knees. We have a great laugh and great snuggles and he knows he's the light of my life - that they both are.
I'm so gutted he could be so cruel to his brother. He was RELISHING the idea of getting him into trouble
This all reads like: "How can this nasty, unlikeable monster behave like this towards my precious angel?" If it seems like that to me, it must be triply so to your DS2.
Two brothers so close in age are likely to wind each other up at times. Punish bad behaviour - but how can you call your 10 year old son a monster?
It sounds like you don't like him.
i have to say, i can see it (kind of) from both sides.
My older brother has SN and I very much felt like my parents (esp my mother) favoured him. He was "let off" a lot of stuff that I wasn't. I had/have a very keen sense of justice and so would argue the toss when I felt they weren't being fair to me which would often lead to more trouble.
SO... i can understand how DS2 feels. Although I would never have done anything like blackmailing my brother the way he has DS1.
He is only 10 though. He probably seems all grown-uppy, but he's still a child and I very much doubt he actually thought about the upset that would be caused by this.
I think maybe it's a good time for you all to sit down together and have a chat. About everything. About Aspergers, about lying and stealing, about how being fair does not mean treating everyone the same but treating them how they need to be treated... invite them to join in. get it all out in the open.
sometimes, when you feel like you're the least favoured, even if it isn't true, you kind of end up acting like it because well, why the heck not?
do you/your dh spend much one to one time with the boys? maybe ds2 needs a boost in that dept?
Yes - it DID sound like you don't like him. Thanks for clarifying.
If you knew how horrible me and my sister (1 year younger) were to each other at times, you'd be horrified.
Both respectable, decent grown ups. React but don't over react.
Hettie I refer you to my post at 22.24.
Don't be soft in ds1. Give them both the same punishment this time.
Both respectable, decent grown ups now that should say.
But what would I be punishing DS1 for??
Lying. He lied to you didn't he or Will that be overlooked?
Have you read "Siblings without Rivalry" some really good practical, sensible stuff in it?
he lied because he was being blackmailed. and then he immediately told the truth. how is that punishable?
OP I dont know how to advise you, but just wanted to say to me your post read that you were distressed to hear such a protracted struggle had been going on for a couple of months without you knowing. I thought it read clearly that you love them equally.
I'd be gutted too. Maybe DS1 will feel better now that DS2 has been disarmed, and DS2 will realise the game is up, but he can and will find other ways to shine in the family?
He should have just told the truth. This is a teaching moment about lying and standing up for yourself from bullies.
Ds1 punish for lying.
Ds2 punish for blackmailing.
Bundaberg - thank you. Good points.
I do get how he must feel sometimes. We have talked about that. It was only fairly recently that we told DS1 about his Aspergers and once he'd processed that we told DS2. Of course he always knew DS1 was different and sometimes felt embarrassed by him at school. He cried as he told me he just wanted a normal brother but we had a cuddle and I reassured him that it's natural to feel like that and he mustn't feel bad.
I have tried to explain about the fairness thing and he seems to accept it - until a punishment comes along and we're back to "It's not Fay-urrrrr!!!!" <hmm>
We do try to do things 1-1 as well as doing stuff as a family. Sometimes I'll take DS2 somewhere just the 2 of us and DH will take DS1 and vice versa.
More information on the books, they really are amazing and include the issues of having siblings with disabilities/needs
He lied for roughly 30 seconds - because he was terrified that we would tell him off for swearing even though he'd been tricked into it - then broke down and told the truth.
My first thought, poor ds1 bless him. How else has ds2 used this against him over tge last 2 months?
Ds1 needs to know if anyone makes him keep a secret like tgat he must yell his mum.
Ds2 tbh I don't know either. Be needs to know this is an off tge scale issue.
Thank you Downfall. I really do love them equally. So much.
Random - brilliant book recommendations. Thank you!
I'm not sure if this is a particularly useful insight - but here it is anyway. My older DB was argumentative and got into far more trouble with my DP than I did. My DM's explanation for this was that I could see the hassle he got for it, so I didn't bother (I found other ways to get what I wanted). In your DSs case your first child hasn't provided this model to your second. This can happen with two NT children too - my DH was much better behaved than his younger brother - his younger brother was a horror. But I guess that your DS1 must find it harder to deal with DS2's unkind behaviour than a NT DC would.
In some ways I think it is hard on a second child not to have the first pushing boundaries as second children rush to grow up/keep up and not having this modeled for them can make their behaviour worse than a poorly behaved older child. As Bundaberg says, he probably didn't think it through, what with being 10.
I don't think you should punish your DS1 in this circumstance - he was being blackmailed, he has had 2 months of having this held over him. What he and his DB need to know is that you are there for both of them and would rather they told you something like this rather than keeping it to themselves.
Yep, I must read them again!
The techniques really do work, if only I could get Dh to use them on me...
I wouldnt be bandying punishments around for a crunchie tbh, either. Both boys have become distressed, both in their own fashion have found a way to tell the truth, and I'd bet both feel better for it. I would be making it clear to DS2 though that the blackmailing is a never to be repeated action.
LBHA - oh he's promised never to be afraid to tell me anything ever again. Apart from younger brothers, I need to be sure NOBODY can ever guilt him into keeping secrets from me.
Ive made that very clear now I think
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