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Teenage brothers fighting - how to make them stop

(17 Posts)
goofygoober Sat 16-Aug-14 21:40:19

I have reached my limit with DTS (13), they share a bedroom, many friends and most social activities.

They have always squabbled, but remained best mates and enjoyed each other's company.

These school holidays have been so hard, they wind each other up and have awful physical fights. sad. I've tried explaining that it is not acceptable, and withdrawn privileges. No matter. They carry on. The only thing I can do is separate them, but this is very hard work, we have other DCs and we're always busy at home. I cannot constantly be the cop between the two of them. I can't trust them on their own in the house now, even to pop out for half an hour.

Does anyone have any tips or advice please? I just don't know what to do next.

Tanaqui Sat 16-Aug-14 21:47:23

I don't, but you aren't the only one! I assume it is testosterone kicking in. I do take phones away when it hits full on, which tends to dial it back for a while?

Heyho111 Sat 16-Aug-14 23:02:16

There could be some sibling rivalary going on. It would be worth getting a book on the cause and how to deal with it. It's too long to explain on this.
They seem to have got into a cycle they can't stop on their own.

goofygoober Sun 17-Aug-14 05:43:31

Thanks for your replies. Maybe it is sibling rivalry. We do take the gadgets away and ground them, but they continue. Maybe I will get a book. It can't continue, I find it so upsetting when they lash out at each other sad

stargirl1701 Sun 17-Aug-14 05:48:23




goofygoober Sun 17-Aug-14 05:59:40

Wow, thanks so much stargirl

yetanotherchange Sun 17-Aug-14 17:39:03

When they're mid-fight, walk into the room, point large camera at them, take several flash photos of the red-faces/grimaces/fistfuls of hair being pulled out etc..., then leave the room.

Print a few of the most ridiculous shots and affix to fridge door.

Offer to send copies to family, friends, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

3littlefrogs Sun 17-Aug-14 17:52:33

Is there any way you can arrange things so they don't share a room with each other? That would be the one thing that would make a difference.

FishWithABicycle Sun 17-Aug-14 18:40:36

Yes it's testosterone kicking in.

I might council caution about stopping this completely though. It is entirely natural for children to fight. Among my friends, in a pub convo, we worked out that in general the ones who were allowed to settle their differences in physical fights where necessary (with or without some prevention when it got more violent) are the ones who are emotionally closest to their siblings now. The ones who were prevented from fighting and punished when they did now have distant and uninvolved relationships with their siblings.

I would therefore suggest not preventing this altogether, but perhaps sign them up for a boxing class or martial arts class where they can spar in a controlled and safe environment with appropriate safety considerations.

goofygoober Sun 17-Aug-14 22:42:28

Oh my, nearly choked with laughter yetanother - what a fab idea!!

We haven't got the space for them to have their own rooms, unfortunately 3littlefrogs. I think they're sick of spending time together with these school holidays going on.

Fish I'm sure you're right - they are hormonal. My own mother advised to leave them to it - until they draw blood. However, this past week has been the worst, they've really physically hurt each other and the fighting has spilled down the stairs and into the other rooms. I just can't allow this, as we have other DCs (who are younger and watching and learning).

I hope that I can learn something from the book recommendations. I fear it is going to get worse. I have a newborn and a toddler, I can't just leg-it, mid feed and tear them off each other.

I am not skilled at dealing with this, and still have new mother hormones coursing through me. Not a good mix with their testosterone bubbling!

Thanks for all the advice! X

goofygoober Sun 17-Aug-14 22:47:44

Forgot to say Fish, I hadn't considered the controlled sparring. Maybe a martial art would do it. My only concern is that they would actively try to beat the living sh*t out of each other, and then get chucked out anyway.

I am bloody exhausted with it sad.

FishWithABicycle Sun 17-Aug-14 23:29:02

It's a reasonable concern but one which you can discuss with the instructor when signing them up. I would expect the instructor to have the charisma to keep their aggression in check, and to emphasise mutual respect, sticking to the rules and keeping in control of yourself. It could be really good for them.

Andro Mon 18-Aug-14 14:11:03

My only concern is that they would actively try to beat the living sh*t out of each other, and then get chucked out anyway.

A good sensei would separate them during sparring sessions and any nonsense would be firmly dealt with (my ds's sensei has a real fondness for doling out pushups - tough to fight when your muscles are screaming due to lactic build up).

Alternatively you could consider 2 different martial arts - give them some time apart/some separate friends/something where they wouldn't be in direct competition with each other.

goofygoober Mon 18-Aug-14 20:29:57

Thanks for your replies. There are a lot of martial arts clubs locally, and both boys have previously shown an interest in joining. We've never explored it, because they were already doing so many sports. Now though, I think this could be really good for them. Hopefully, the instructor will sort them out and not take any of their nonsense.

I am going to order the book which is about the right way to talk to them. I am also looking forward to the start of term grin

Thank you everyone!

Heyho111 Tue 19-Aug-14 04:49:00

I can recommend 'siblings without rivalry '.

mathanxiety Thu 21-Aug-14 07:03:53

Buckets of cold water. Drench them and their room and beds if necessary. Or just aim at the beds. Don't warn them and don't say a word when you empty the buckets in their direction. Let them sleep in wet bedding or no bedding. This is what my gran did when her four youngest boys used to fight.

If they fight in any room other than their bedroom, drop whatever it is that you are doing and scream at them until they leave the house. Go berserk and do not stop. You should aim to frighten the bejaysus out of them. It is just ridiculous that they seem to have completely lost all respect for their home and for you.

Where is their father/your DP-DH in all of this?

Do they do any chores? If they have time to get on each other's nerves then they have time to get a lot done around the house and garden. At 13 each one should be cooking one full meal for the whole family per week, and a lot of other work such as their own laundry including ironing should also fall to them. They should be hoovering, cleaning up the garage and doing whatever garden work needs doing.

I am assuming that like many teens they have phones and other gadgets they are fond of? Take them. Make them earn them back. Make them repay you for anything they break when fighting too, an equal amount from each one. Do they get pocket money? If so, stop giving it.

I really like the martial arts idea too.

mathanxiety Thu 21-Aug-14 07:05:42

This might be nice for a photo.

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