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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
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.
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.
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!
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)
"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.
SAFP - thank you for being so honest! Good to hear you get along now
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
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.'
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.
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
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 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
Now wondering whether he'll be indignant enough to drop himself in it by mentioning it tonight!
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.
hellsbells - can I ask, do you remember why you were so nasty? we have sibling issues here as well.
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!
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]
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>
Lol! Unfortunately my thongs are looking much the same
Hope thongs are looking a bit better now the morning is here
?? wrong thread??
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.
So so, Love.
Feel better now I have a bit of a plan
Hope thongs are looking a bit better now the morning is here
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...
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!
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.
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'.
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