Guardian of younger sibling(s) - Advice please ??(11 Posts)
Not really a AIBU, was on parenting but figured more people read this.
Just wondering if anyone else's younger sibling(s) live with them full time, with or without a legal aarrangement?
If anyone has any tips/advice on how to deal with that (DB is 15) and starting own family etc
A bit of background:
I'm 26, about 2 years ago DBro started having major problems with our step dad. Parents (DM and DSD) decided it was best if he move in with me as we have 2 younger siblings (8 and 11 now - from DM and DSD). I was 24 - just got my first flat by myself etc. Older sis couldn't take DB as had young children lives 5 hrs away, I only live 2hrs from parents, had room, DB and me seem to get on etc. DB did agree.
He seems to have settled down - doing okay in school, friends etc.
But me and DP (who DB has know for many years as we were childhood friends previously) are now expecting our 1st DC. I don't know how DB will adapt (he seems okay but then only 3 mnths) and how we will be able to do both eg nearly 16yr old and baby.
He does have attitude problems (tidying,respect,being rude, not sticking to curfew - at all and not calling/txting) Half the time he is great with DP (they go to football etc together) but the other half he is rude and disrespectful to him (esp when he does the 'parenting' stuff eg school work, attitude etc) He also won't be around our DSD or talk about him, will only say hello and yes/no to our DM before buggering off, Likes spending time with our DSis and family when we get the chance, ditto with younger brothers, one (11yr old) was very angry with him for leaving and I don't think has forgiven him fully.
Thanks in advance - for any advice you lot can give
Just make sure you involve him, my ds1 is 16 and just the same, attitude , doesn't like rules tiding up after himself etc, he's been much better since the baby was born. You might find he is a great help to you in the comming months and after your dc is born.
In a few months try sitting him down and explaining that you might need his help with tiding up etc as your getting bigger and more tired.
I do think involving him and making him know that he is a big part in your family and new babies life is the most important thing, and just think you will be able to go for a bath, put washing away, clean bathroom while he watches your dc
I have 16 years between no1 son and no4 son and it worked out ok, honest! The rude/surly/not calling/being late is all "just" being a teenager I think, they can be downright twatty when they get going - particularly delightful with two teens and 3 toddlers in the house at once but we seem to be getting through, and you will too.
I've never been in that situation (though I have lived with my sister but we where both adults so very different)
make sure he is aware of what is going happen and what you (and your DP) will require off him.
Really (the way I read it at least) your bigest problem is going to be about him and your mum and step-dad. Surely they will want to come visit maybe help you out? How will he react to that?
It has been 2yrs - have you thought about him starting to open up, beginning to mend some bridges, baby steps (like being in same room as step-dad, he doesn't even have to talk) etc?
He's going to be this baby's uncle so I would really big up that part of it. Do something to tie him into the baby - give his name as a middle name or ask him to be Godparent if you are planning on Christening the baby - I think he needs some 'glue' to understand that he still has a home with you.
The stuff you mention, I think (my DS only 6) is pretty normal for a teen.
But I also think that Kenny has a good point. Families are always all over you when there's a baby in the house, how is that going to work? Particularly if your DM is very 'baby-focused' which might feel like a further rejection to your DB.
I also wanted to say I really admire you for giving him a home. A lot of people (especially at that age) wouldn't have managed / wanted to do it.
I've had a very similar situation. Your bro sounds just like mine in terms of attitude etc!
You've not given much info about your bro's relationship with your stepdad. In our family's case acknowledging that bro had every right to be angry with stepdad and mum was really important as although they were not "abusive" stepdad treated bro unkindly from an early age and mum consistently chose him and her child from their relationship over bro. Your bro doesn't have to have a relationship with your mum and your stepdad if he's not ready for it. If he gets out when your mum's over what's the big problem, better that than to pick a fight surely? Does your mum expect him to be overjoyed to see her when she and her husband decided he should move out? Even if your dbro suggested it in the first place, doesn't mean he really wanted it to happen.
My dbro has had lots of problems and is a nightmare at times, but deep down he's just a very hurt little boy. Has your dbro had any counselling? Mine won't go but has engaged in some self-destructive behaviour which has been hard to deal with but appears to be turning a corner.
Good luck with the new baby-as others have said make sure he still has time from you and your dh. I would think that making sure they still go to football together could be really important, for example.
Wilsonficketts idea made me tear up - Love the idea of giving the baby his uncles name as a middle name if possible. Also think you are a great sister and will obviously be a fab mum.
I third Wilsonficketts idea of middle names and/or godparent - making his feel included after everything
Apart from that - sorry I have no advice - good luck, I'm sure it'll work out.
Thank you for your advice so far, thought I would reply before getting ready for work.
I like the idea of the middle name, I think DBro would really like it
Make sure DP and he still go to football etc.
DP mentioned councelling once, DBro threw a chair (out the door luckily not at DP)
DM does at least to some extent expect DBro to be happy to see them both, doesn't understand why he won't talk to her or be in same room as Step-Dad.
He was very young when our parents split - doesn't remember our father. And when he walked out, that was it, we haven't heard/seen him since. Which is no problem - he was verbally and emotionally abusive to our DM. And an all round horrible bloke.
Step-dad was in the picture very very quickly (two quickly I think mum is very dependent on him, though I don't think it is 'abusive' he is very much the 'man of the house' if that makes sence). younger brothers born very quickly after. Step-dad has acted non-chalent towards us all (no problem really with Sis and me - we where older, doing our thing, jobs, school then college) But never interested in DBro, but would come down very hard on him. (i've known him to go days without talking to DBro and then explode in telling him off)
It got progressively worse - at each other throat all the time and was effecting school and attitude etc. older sis saw it at it's worse when step-dad had DBro at scruff off his neck against a wall.
I'm guessing he just feels very rejected (esp with DMum) who he probably feels chose Step-dad over him.
Of course he feels rejected then, poor wee man. In that case I think its even more important that he still gets one on one time with your DP so keeping the football and stuff up. He can't have another man 'abandoning' him IYSWIM. I really wish your family all the best of luck x
After that other information OP, can I retract the last part of my earlier post please?
And agree with everyone else that you and your DP make sure that you still make sure he knows how 'wanted' he is in your family esp with new DC (love the idea of mn). And to ensure your DP and he still spend some quality 'male' time together, so he doesn't feel like he is being pushed aside again, He needs a positive male role model that will stick around, 'be there' and not just dump him - which I'm sure you DP is, your brother just needs to be aware of it.
Could you mention councelling again (only if you think he wont hit the roof), he's older more settled he may be more open to the idea (even if he doesn't agree, he may not throw a chair - which I'm guessing would be an improvement) ??
Oh I feel so sorry for him. I wish you all the best.
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