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So upset. Rel between DSs :(

(74 Posts)
Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:16:35

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" sad

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 sad

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 sad

cloudskitchen Mon 11-Nov-13 22:23:59

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 thanks

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:24:58

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 smile

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 sad

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:26:03

Thank you Clouds <sniffle>

HettiePetal Mon 11-Nov-13 22:27:23

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.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 22:29:05

poor you sad

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?

HettiePetal Mon 11-Nov-13 22:29:16


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.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:29:27

Hettie I refer you to my post at 22.24.

mynewpassion Mon 11-Nov-13 22:29:28

Don't be soft in ds1. Give them both the same punishment this time.

HettiePetal Mon 11-Nov-13 22:30:08

Both respectable, decent grown ups now that should say.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:30:32

But what would I be punishing DS1 for??

mynewpassion Mon 11-Nov-13 22:32:25

Lying. He lied to you didn't he or Will that be overlooked?

RandomMess Mon 11-Nov-13 22:33:59

Have you read "Siblings without Rivalry" some really good practical, sensible stuff in it?

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 22:35:03

he lied because he was being blackmailed. and then he immediately told the truth. how is that punishable? confused

Downfall Mon 11-Nov-13 22:37:23

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?

mynewpassion Mon 11-Nov-13 22:37:58

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.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:38:41

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 sad 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.

RandomMess Mon 11-Nov-13 22:40:21

More information on the books, they really are amazing and include the issues of having siblings with disabilities/needs

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:41:32

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.

LovesBeingHereAgain Mon 11-Nov-13 22:41:49

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.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:43:02

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.

RandomMess Mon 11-Nov-13 22:46:16

Yep, I must read them again!

The techniques really do work, if only I could get Dh to use them on me...

Downfall Mon 11-Nov-13 22:46:17

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.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:46:19

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 smile

lizzzyyliveson Mon 11-Nov-13 22:49:01

DS2 has done a bad thing with the iPod and should lose all computer related privileges for at least a week. DS1 needs reassuring that he can say the word 'fuck' without the world falling in as long as he doesn't swear at people. Give them both lots of love and reassurance. The outcome you want is for them to have a strong brotherly bond and to get past this little hiccup.

mercibucket Mon 11-Nov-13 22:50:07

i feel sorry for ds2, it must have been hard all those years not knowing why his brother was different, and perhaps getting more attention/less punishments than he was? he maybe has a lot of resentment towards ds1? i dont know, just throwing it out there

personally i would be taking this as a sign ds2 needed a bit more 1:1 attention in some way

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:51:07

Oh the Crunchie is a speck on the horizon now. We're so far past it. As I said, it wasn't that big a deal to start with. I was miffed that nobody owned up but hey oh I just resolved to hide them better.....

The Crunchie was just the fuse on the stick of dynamite really. In a way I wish I'd had a Bounty. Nobody else likes those.

Downfall Mon 11-Nov-13 22:54:15

Ha, that's the solution! wink

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:54:23

Lizzzzy - yes I did point out to DS1 that whilst "Fuck" isn't the sort of thing I'd like to hear him say in polite company - if at all - it is after all only a word and as such not the end of the world!

RandomMess Mon 11-Nov-13 23:01:29

One day far far in the future you may look back at this incidence with a smile on your face and a "do you remember the day... "

Def buy bounty's from now on wink

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:05:00

Oh Random I do hope so!

Maybe it's safer to give up chocolate altogether but if I try that I fear that not only will my family suffer - I'll end up in the town on the rampage with the tin opener.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:08:52

Ok given the circumstances what does everyone think is a suitable punishment/duration of punishment?

I may not be in a place to be rational yet.....

Downfall Mon 11-Nov-13 23:09:07

God I fancy a crunchie now.

Gutted I think your humour will see you through. Hope the boys are brighter tommorrow.

peggyundercrackers Mon 11-Nov-13 23:13:20

I would be a little concerned the blackmailing went on for so long, a day or so I wouldn't be that bothered about but for 2 months? that's bang out of order. I fought with my brother all the time and we get on fine now but I don't remember anything going on as log as 2 months between us - I think we would be lucky for something to last to the end of our day before we had moved onto whatever else we were bickering about. your DS2 has obviously relished being in power over DS1 though and used it to his advantage and I think that's a little cruel.

Downfall Mon 11-Nov-13 23:13:29

I suppose punishment will need to fall within a scale that's usual for you and DH. lizzzyy made a fair suggestion.

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:26:44

Peggy I agree it's really cruel. That's why I'm so gutted sad

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 11-Nov-13 23:31:03

Punishment...if your younger son is so manipulative then perhaps this is going to take more than punishment as he will just take it out on your older son

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:32:12

See as it stands I've banned pretty much everything for the foreseeable future which on reflection is asking for him to respond with a "Fuck it I've lost everything" attitude <hmm>

I will sit them both down tomorrow, extract a proper apology to DS1 from DS2, have a talk and formalise a realistic punishment.

"Being a parent is wanting to hug and strangle your kid at the same time".

Too true, Calvin's dad <hmm>

Thank you all x

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:32:57

More than punishment??

Do you mean sell him??

Gutted123 Mon 11-Nov-13 23:36:48

.....sorry. Flippant. Tired and emotional. Bedtime.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 11-Nov-13 23:41:16

No, not sell him. But some sort of intervention, he had been planning and performed sustained bullying and blackmail of your other kid. Possibly a psychologist might be needed here.

Cabrinha Mon 11-Nov-13 23:45:32

My older brother blackmailed me after finding a piece of paper with a poem I'd written on it, which included the word fuck. We were about 10 and 12. The blackmail went on for months, until another sibling found the paper and it all came out.

I remember it so well, and the unfairness of my parents response especially. I was told I wouldn't be punished for writing fuck as the blackmail was punishment enough. On the surface, that might seem fair. But they said nothing to me about how it was wrong, they gave me no sympathy for what I'd been through. It's awful. I don't want to make you feel bad about DS2, but please support DS1 - it's horrible being blackmailed - the fear, the unfairness...

To my brother they just said "don't do it again". Hmmmm.

For punishment - absolutely do not punish him. You can't punish a victim of blackmail for lying, especially when it was retracted so quickly!

For DS2, I'd ask him all about what he gained from the blackmail and match the punishment to that. So if he got DS1s sweets, or use of a games console - make him give up his for 2 months, to his brother. My brother made me do things like come out and play cricket (always bowling and fielding of course!) when I didn't want to. Sounds minor but it's horrible to feel controlled and fearful. In that sort of case, I'd let DS1 choose what he wanted - might be doing his chores.

And also a big chat with DS2 about why he did it.

Cabrinha Mon 11-Nov-13 23:51:49

Incidentally, I still remember my four line poem word for word.
Blackmail - sustained - is a big deal. My brother was a nasty bully, who made me unhappy, and then two younger siblings miserable. For one, it has affected her relationship with our parents terribly, as she was badly let down by them effectively letting him get away with it. Think - physical violence and just being told not to provoke him.
I really don't want to make you feel any worse, you clearly are taking it seriously. I just wanted to emphasise that in so doing, you're doing the right thing. I wish my parents had set my bully of a brother some boundaries.

perfectstorm Tue 12-Nov-13 00:08:34

I agree the 2 months is the off part here. 10 is still primary years, and it is sustained and systematic bullying in a way that would worry me, even between siblings, especially when it's not a case of one grabs the poker and the other the tongs - it isn't equal levels of aggression at all, from what you say. It's not what he's done - any savvier sib might do the same, and kids do lie, and get one over on one another, and actually the brains behind this are fairly impressive. Even a week, and I'd be pissed off but not concerned. It's the preparedness to use it over so long, and then to carry out on the underlying threat when the blackmail failed that would bother me. There's a real anger there, it sounds like, or he'd have got bored or guilty or just moved on. Wanting to hurt his brother and control him over such a long period, in such a clearly very thought through way, is worrying IMO.

But here's the thing: I don't see any point in punishment over this. All I can see it doing is making him even more pissed off and resentful of his brother and more convinced he's the golden boy. It won't teach him anything about being nicer or make him reflect on what he's done, which is surely the aim. I don't mean let him get away with it. I just mean that simple cause and effect (if you whine when I turn the computer off and throw a tantrum, then no computer tomorrow) punishments seem out of place with this one. I think it's generally a good idea to look at what you really want to happen, and if a punishment is the last thing likely to achieve that then maybe an alternative needs to be looked at? What you want is him to actually feel some empathy for DS1, how he's made him feel, what a horrible thing it was to do to him and over such a long period of time, and how he'd feel if someone did that to him. And I'm not sure how you do that, but I don't think a punishment of the traditional kind has a hope in hell.

I hasten to add that I'm not saying there is anything dark or sinister happening, or that your family isn't perfectly functional. You sound lovely and very sensible parents and both boys great in lots of ways. It's just that I think your kids could grow up to dislike one another on an ongoing basis if whatever is making your DS2 feel second pegging, and in turn treat his brother in such a way, isn't addressed. No idea how, but maybe talking it all over together with a professonally trained person to mediate could help DS2 see where DS1 is coming from, and DS2 grasp that he's actually very much loved and has his own appreciated qualities? It sounds like he at heart thinks you love your eldest more - he won't get that he is easier, and more obviously vulnerable, and not liked or loved any better, because he'll see different treatment and not get that it's simply down to different personalities. Maybe? More constructive than punishment, hopefully.

The books also sound great - I've seen them recommended a lot on MN which is generally an effective peer-review process! grin

As for someone suggesting a kid should be punished for being blackmailed... um, what? I think that's pretty much the apogee of unfairness/victim blaming. Coercion is a rather strong defence, especially in a kid who already hates lying and was being made miserable by being made to lie to get himself into trouble - what on earth would any punishment over that achieve? Quite bizarre suggestion.

Don't be sorry you got a Crunchie, though! It was how you found out - the whole could have gone on another month if you hadn't. I think that Crunchie was rather fortuitous for your DS1, in the end.

perfectstorm Tue 12-Nov-13 00:09:53

X posted with several other people saying similar, sorry. Perils of verbosity.

charitymum Tue 12-Nov-13 00:21:42

There is a great charity called Sibs aimed at supporting siblings of children with SEND. Really worth a visit and maybe accessing some support for your DS2

steppemum Tue 12-Nov-13 00:37:38

Op I have pm you

dozeydoris Tue 12-Nov-13 05:50:20

Checking out the charity supporting siblings of children with SEN sounds a good move.

I think that perhaps DS2 is angry/embarrassed that he has this different older brother. If his friends are the cool dudes at school this innocent and lovable older brother is not what he needs for his image. They are very close in age so he can't pretend he doesn't exist. That's not to say he doesn't love him but that he isn't what he wants just now as DS2 heads into puberty.

Also, being able to bribe DS1 so easily, perhaps DS2 dislikes that his brother is so gullible.

Has DS1 gone to secondary school or are they at the same school?

Both need lots of support and love and an opportunity to vent I think and 'big chat with DS2 as to why he did it' as mentioned above.

Lifeasafish Tue 12-Nov-13 07:45:42

Disclamer - I do not have children and my siblngs are so much younger that I may as well have been an only child but...

OP - have you thought of a... Open mediation? So no punishment for DS1 but get him to explain to DS2 how he made him feel? Try to appeal to DS2's sense of morality? But give them both some control over sorting their relationship with you and DP as mediators?

So, I am also thinking to let DS1 suggest punishment with you and DH giving final say. For example, helping DS1 clean his room, help him with game? DS2 doing something DS1 enjoys. Something that looks like punishment but makes them work together?

I'm thinking that such a method will give ownership of the relationship breakdown back to them, hopefully DS2 will appreciate the kindness of his brother and DS1 will learn that he has some power in the relationship.

Maybe DS2 is really struggling with the concept of a SEN older brother and feels ashamed, disappointed or feels DS1 isn't a 'real' person to be treated accordingly but can be used as a whipping post. He seems angry towards him?

I'm sorry if I've any incorrect terminology or caused offence - it really isn't meant but I have no experience of aspergers or sibling relations in this way. Your post touched me and I wondered if taking another angle would help.

I'd start this intervention with x4 crunchies on the table as a snack to lighten the original issue and maybe call it crunchiegate to take out the 'poison'.

Lifeasafish Tue 12-Nov-13 07:51:03

Sorry to clarify - the intervention would be a summary of whats happened, why its bad, what happens next. And a one-off, so this method isn't used for silly squabbles or viewed as another method of one-up-man-ship.

Reading again and reading and agreeing with dozey, it sounds to me like DS2 is punishing DS1 for his condition and maybe has got into a cycle of viewing his brother differently.

JohnnyUtah Tue 12-Nov-13 07:58:55

Siblings can be horrible to each other and I don't see what your younger boy did as being far out of the ordinary. I suppose you would more usually see the behaviour reversed, because the younger sibling would be the more gullible. Be careful not to let your natural protectiveness to your elder son take over your response here. And be careful not to expect DS2 to protect DS1 in the big wide world - its not his responsibility and he will resent any such suggestion I think.

I like the idea of the crunchiegate discussion. DS1 needs to know to come to you sooner in that situation. dS2 needs to know not to be a little toad. Maybe they both need a bit of one to one time after the chat, to give a chance to each if them to raise follow up issues with you. He's not a monster, he's just a kid!

mercibucket Tue 12-Nov-13 09:11:43

completely agree with perfectstorm

Gutted123 Tue 12-Nov-13 09:40:19

Some really good suggestions here. Thank you! I really appreciate people taking the time to post. I award you all a Crunchie or two!

The monster comment was borne of exasperation. I don't think he's a monster at all. I think the sun shines out of his (usually proudly farting) backside. It's just, you know, I do sometimes wonder if I've got a repressed memory of chanting neighbours, odd smells and an alarming but oddly erotic episode involving someone with horns...

LovesBeingHereAgain Tue 12-Nov-13 10:15:00

Hope thongs are looking a bit better now the morning is here

Gutted123 Tue 12-Nov-13 10:18:19

So so, Love.

Feel better now I have a bit of a plan smile

LovesBeingHereAgain Tue 12-Nov-13 12:28:42

That's half tge battle smile

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 12-Nov-13 12:54:51

Given their ages and the whole aspect of looking forwards not back, the thing you could be focusing is on respect for each other and self.

- they both need to start respecting each other's privacy - so not going into each other's rooms without express permission.
- respecting each other's opinions so no eye-rolling or whatever about different tastes in television/games/music

They are both growing up and it will help if you can get some of these things sorted before the teen years start.

Mine are all three teens now. Respecting each others privacy and opinions does seem to circumvent a lot of the snipeyness which could otherwise be there.

dozeydoris Tue 12-Nov-13 14:02:10

Hope thongs are looking a bit better now the morning is here confused

?? wrong thread?? grin

Gutted123 Tue 12-Nov-13 14:12:50

Lol! Unfortunately my thongs are looking much the same sad

SnakeyMcBadass Tue 12-Nov-13 14:22:08

Gutted, my sympathies. I have a similar sib set up here, although in our case it's DS2 who shows some AS tendencies. I have no answers, I just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel about your DS2. I adore my son, love the bones of him, but I don't always like his behaviour. I am constantly striving to teach him to empathise, and to try and moderate his more, er, strident behaviours. I want his life to be easier and mine <knocks back gin>

Gutted123 Tue 12-Nov-13 14:53:56

Budge up Snakey <checks gin level and helps self>

Empathy - yes. And he can be so lovely. He sobbed at the end of Marley and Me, and Titanic had him in bits. It's just real life that's the problem!

<burps and refills glass]

This brought back some memories.
I was like your DS2. Except I'm a girl and I had a sister.
I was horrible to her. Theatened, blackmailed, cajoled, everything in the book. I really was a horror.
But then it all changed. I'm the most thoughtful of all of us when it comes to all things now.
And my sister.... Is my bestest friend by far. We do sooo much together and have done for about 30+ years now.
As a PP said - you will look back on this and chuckle away!

steppemum Tue 12-Nov-13 21:39:40

hellsbells - can I ask, do you remember why you were so nasty? we have sibling issues here as well.

Mumsyblouse Tue 12-Nov-13 21:54:11

I do think siblings can arouse really nasty feelings, proper jealousy, not caring if they get hurt, being prepared to get them into trouble and things like that. I think your ds2's actions, whilst really reprehensible, can be understood in that light, especially as he is the contrast to his older brother and not always in a good way.

I don't think removing the X-box is really the answer here, it will feed any feelings of righteous anger, but he for sure has to pay his brother back in some way, give him his computer time, apologise, whatever you think.

But I also think you might have to grit your teeth and listen to some of the anger and frustration ds2 feels about and at his brother, or get him to talk with someone else about it.

Mine can also be horrible to each other and it makes me really sad, but a 10 year old is striving for independence and heading towards pre-teen/teenage stroppiness, and with a very earnest 'good' brother it can be hard, don't write him off as nasty through and through as a result of this.

Gutted123 Thu 14-Nov-13 09:22:17

Well his behaviour and general demeanour has been far better. We've been having more 1-1 time and he's responding really well. Calmer, less likely to kick off when exasperated etc. and seems far less irritated by DS1.

The xbox ban is still in place until he's kept up the good behaviour for a good while though - and then it will be gradually introduced, for timed periods.

Got him an absolute doozy this morning though grin

I take DS1 to school - further away - but DS1 walks to his as it's only a 3 or 4 minute walk. Yesterday when I got home from the school run I had reason to believe he'd sneaked onto the Xbox. I'd put the controllers away but not hidden them - he'd seen where I put them.

So this morning I put them in the glove box of the car. I put a can of hairspray in front of the drawer I'd put the controllers in so that it would be obvious if he'd been in there. In the drawer I put a note reading "Don't bother trying to find the controllers. I've got them with me. Have a good day smile Love you xxx".

Got home and sure enough the hairspray can had been moved out of the way of the drawer.

If I'd had more time I'd have gone further and made it a little treasure hunt with the final note at the end grin

Now wondering whether he'll be indignant enough to drop himself in it by mentioning it tonight!

I'm not sure I really remember.
Although I have 2 older half sisters they didn't live with us.
I was the 1st born to my mum and dad and was happy as an only child.
Apparently I changed massively when my little sister came along (just over 2 years later).

It was weird because I would protect her like crazy at school. If anyone said or did anything to her I would kick off big time.
But then I was horrible to her at home.

Weird. But when I grew up everything changed.
She really is my best friend now.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Thu 14-Nov-13 10:43:29

My older brother is an Aspie.

I won't lie, I hated him. He was so self righteous, smug, golden boy, perfect in school, everyone loved him etc.

Hence... Well, I hated him. While I was being diagnosed with severe MH problems, he was winning awards, treating me poorly and my DP were blind to it. In my eyes, they simply didn't punish him.

So I did.

We are very close now, but it took us living under different roofs to have the bond we have. And as an adult, I can see my anger wasn't actually at DB, it was at my DP. I was too young to understand things, all I saw was if we did the same thing, I was punished and he got a stern talking too. It escalated to the point I tortured him just to scream out to my parents 'hey you!! I exist!! He's NOT perfect!! He's still a big brother who can be mean and manipulative, etc, etc.'

Thankfully you sound nothing like my DP (who I also get along with fantastically now) as they were extremely dismissive, as 'Oh that's just DB.'

Gutted123 Thu 14-Nov-13 16:10:45

SAFP - thank you for being so honest! Good to hear you get along now smile

Forgot to say - I don't know who it was who mentioned in their post about pointing out to DS2 that treating fairly doesn't always mean treating exactly the same - but thank you whoever you are! He seemed to have a bit of a lightbulb moment when I explained that smile

RandomMess Thu 14-Nov-13 19:11:04

"Treating fairly doesn't always mean treating exactly the same" I'm very sure that is something discussed in "Siblings without Rivalry" also that dc get what they need not get given the same.

I think when there are only 2 dc the competition between them can be very intense whereas when you have a few critters it's more distributed and less directed at demanding time and attention from parents.

steppemum Sat 16-Nov-13 22:21:25

That was me gutted, (in pm) it is from Siblings Without Rivalry (prize to random)

It was a real lightbulb moment for me to actually when I read it, and I now say it to my dcs and they are slowly getting it, that, along with not being in competition all the time.

Not sure about more than 2 making it easier though, my 3 manage to have rivalry in all directions at once (sigh)

Gutted123 Sun 17-Nov-13 12:11:32

Ah, so it was Steppemum! Sorry!

Anyway it was fab advice. It's so obvious and makes so much sense I can't believe it had never occurred to me!

cjel Sun 17-Nov-13 12:29:43

Gutted, I get the idea of having 'got' DS with the hairspray but to a child who feels that DM doesn't love hima s much as is db this is awful!!
I also think that although you say you love them both same it sounds as if ds doesn't feel you do and that is the key, Nip it in the bud now and overly say and do things to show that you really do. Teasing Ds can come across as cruel if he feels un cared for.

whitesugar Sun 17-Nov-13 13:39:45

You did a good job sorting that out. I don't think your DS2's behaviour is sinister. I was reared in a large family and the things we did to one another were not nice. My brother who is one year older then me tormented me. We are friends now we are in our forties.

I have two teenage DC and when my DS was about 11 and had started secondary school he turned from being a loving boy to being extremely bad tempered and very angry. He would lose his temper quite quickly. In calm moments I kept asking if everything was ok. He said everything was ok and nothing was bothering him. The headmaster called me in one day and told me that my DS and another boy had cornered a boy and punched him. The circumstances were a bit strange in that they got the boy in a place where no one could see them and the boy was a very quiet boy. I was absolutely horrified and hit the roof.

A few months later it turned out that my son was being bullied badly at school. It only came to light because he just walked out of school one day. I questioned him endlessly and eventually he broke down in tears and told me what was going on. It had been going on for months. When I asked him why he couldn't tell me he said he was too embarrassed. I moved him and we got it all sorted. He is 14 now and in great form.

You mention that your DS2 is having a few difficulties at school and is in with a crowd that like to look cool. That was how my son was but little did I know the cool crowd were bullying him. I am just telling you what happened to my DS because sometimes there are reasons why people bully other people and it might be that something is upsetting your DS2. On the other hand it is probably just normal sibling rivalry and you are understandably upset because you feel your DS1 needs more protection in life.

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