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My Younger Brother

(18 Posts)
Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:01:48

Hello everyone, I'm new here so forgive me if this is strange

My name's Emma. I'm Nineteen and I'm looking after my twelve year old brother temporarily, he and I have both finished school for the holidays right now so I have a bit of free time to write this. Recently my brother stopped wanting to go and see his Dad, I'm not sure why but I know it's been almost three months and he adamantly refuses.

Our Mum died last year, and my Dad died when I was a little girl so I really have no one else to talk to. My brother was living with my Grandma but she's getting older now, and I took my brother in.

I don't want to force my brother into going to see his Dad, but I'm not sure how to handle this. I'm dreading next April when he turns thirteen - I'm not sure I'm prepared to raise a teenager.

I am genuinely worried for my younger brother because he loves to go and stay with his Dad - Who I may add has done nothing wrong - No scandals, no new girlfriends. His Dad is single, and still grieving my Mum's death because they were together since after my Dad died when I was four

I'm not sure what to do, so any feedback is greatly appreciated

Once again. I am sorry if this is strange, as I said I am new here.

Thank you for taking your time to read this

MurielsBottom Mon 18-Dec-17 09:18:36

Hi, I can understand why you feel nervous about the situation. What kind of relationship do you have with your brother's dad? Could you ask directly if there are any problems?

Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:26:22

I have a good relationship with him, he's been in my life since I was four. I talk to him most weekends to try and set up a Dad-Son Day between him and my younger brother. I don't think my brother knows just how much he's hurting his Dad. He did a lot for me and my Mum after my Dad died

Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:29:39

I should also add my brother never gives me an excuse as to why he never wants to go see his Dad. I'm not sure punishing him is the right way to go (His teacher had the nerve to say I should punish him when I asked for her opinion)

just5morepeas Mon 18-Dec-17 09:32:09

Why isn't he living with his dad?

Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:39:56

Because his Dad lives too far away from his school. He'd have to drive an hour and forty minutes just to get him to my house so I could drive another twenty minutes to get him to school. Living with me is the easier option

Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:44:18

And before you say it. We're not pulling him out of a school that he loves and he is comfortable and thriving in, he's got a nice group of friends, his school work is always completed and he's on a few sports teams

QOD Mon 18-Dec-17 09:45:59

Did he live with his dad befor your mum died?
You are a pretty amazing woman you know. My daughter is 19 and well. She’d not be capable of such a thing

BuckingFrolicks2 Mon 18-Dec-17 09:46:24

How he is behaving does sound like the beginning of the teenage years to me - so he is not behaving rationally and you may well not find any logical explanation for your brother's behaviour for the next five years

I suggest you get a book about teenagers (I had one with the name 'alex' in the title can't remember it fully sorry... i hate you but take me to alex's first? something like that, it was v helpful.).

I suggest that if you can, you get your own support lined up to help you with your brother over the next few years - counsellor, group counsellor, mentor at work? There is no shame in needing support while parenting an emerging adult.

What i found helped was to remember HALT when my own son was being frightful - it stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired and generally if he was any of these things, some kind of explosion or implosion was likely.

Decide your own boundaries NOW and stick to them - for example, no going into your room, ever. No abusing women or animals, no eating meat in your house, no staying out after 1am, no leaving the loo seat up... whatever it is that really really matters to you. Try to keep that list down to four or less!! Everything else? ... let it go.

In regards to your current problem, I agree that punishing is wrong - just let him be; this is the time to really start being more hands-off. It is his father who needs to make the move to reach his son, not you. You are probably trying very very hard to make everything okay for everyone; you can't, and you need to let go of that urge as it will become unbearable for you. You are in a very unusual and difficult position, and my heart goes out to you. You are showing lot of kindness and care to your brother but honestly, he is responsible for his choices (remember that he is responsible in law now for his own actions at this age).

in short, the relationship between your brother and his dad is their business as it would be in any conventional family - let them sort it out.

just5morepeas Mon 18-Dec-17 09:48:09

But his dad is the parent.

It's just not realistic that a young boy of 12 live with his teenaged sister until he's an adult when he has a father nearby. How do you support yourself? Do you go to school? Work?

Its lovely that you have a good relationship with your brother, but this is too much and not your responsibility. If he lives with his dad he will build a good relationship with him - which he desperately needs right now. His dad should be stepping up here - I don't think you're helping - in the long term - by doing his job for him.

FannyFanakapan Mon 18-Dec-17 09:57:29

I agree with Just5morepeas, you should not be shouldering this responsibility, his dad should. His dad has parental responsibility - it is his responsibility to clothe, feed and deal with his son day to day - not yours. Your brother should move schools now, before he starts GCSE work, to a school near his dad or his dad should move closer to the school.

You need to get your own life that doesnt involve taking on full time responsibility for your brother. These are the best years of your life, when you can decide what you want and go out and party all night, stay away on a whim, take a holiday whenever you want - you will be tied down to a teenager for the next 6 years, by which time you may find you have missed the boat on further education opportunities, you may want to start a family of your own - you do need to factor in some selfish time to just be yourself, find out who you are and what you want.

I do hope that his dad is fully covering all costs associated with raising his son - half all bills, plus all school trips, clothing, entertainment etc.

Emsy98 Mon 18-Dec-17 10:16:30

WOW. You know I didn't come here for criticism. None of you know anything about me - I CLEARLY stated we are both in school. And Yes, I work. He lives with me because his Dad lives too far away from school.

How DARE you all come and tell me what I should be doing. I'm looking after my brother because his Dad wanted him to be safe. His Dad is always away and working, because he's doing the right thing and providing for his Son. My Grandmother can't look after him because she's got arthritis - Oh and she's looking after my Granddad

Thanks for the criticism guys. I'm taking this elsewhere though

just5morepeas Mon 18-Dec-17 11:06:23

If his dad was doing the right thing his son would be with him.

This isn't a criticism of you, it's a criticism of your brother's dad. He needs to take responsibility.

silkpyjamasallday Mon 18-Dec-17 11:53:20

OP I don't think anyone is criticising you, you are articulate and sound like you have a good head on your shoulders despite the difficulties you have faced at such a young age, I think posters are shocked that your brothers father has left the responsibility of parenting his child to you when you are barely out of childhood yourself. That's no criticism of you by the way, you are clearly capable and mature, but you shouldn't have to be dealing with all of this by yourself and you both are being let down by your brothers father in my opinion.

Did his father always live away? I'm not sure I understand the set up entirely, and that makes it difficult to advise. It sounds as if you have a tremendous amount to deal with that isn't actually your responsibility, but I gather that the situation is very complex and difficult to navigate. Will your bother give no reasons he avoids seeing his father? Maybe he feels rejected and lost after the loss of your mother and now not living with his other parent? Would getting him a counsellor, someone to listen to him and be impartial be possible? I wish I could help more OP, it sounds like you are having a really difficult time. thanks

pinkbraces Mon 18-Dec-17 12:00:02

Wow, the nasty know it all fuckers are out this morning.

OP, has your brother had any bereavement counselling? Perhaps a counsellor could help him understand why he doesnt want to go to his Dads, and also help him verbalise his reasons.

You sound like an amazing sister and Im sure your mum would be so proud of you. flowers

WaxOnFeckOff Mon 18-Dec-17 14:31:07

I've never dealt with a situation like yours OP so don't have much to add to that.

However, I just wanted to say that not all teenagers are difficult and they don't suddenly change on their 13th birthday. I found that age 11-13 was more difficult with my DS2 and even that wasn't too bad. My DS1 was fine and is now nearly 18 and still the same.

seriousone Mon 18-Dec-17 15:13:30

Hi emma if you are on Facebook there is a mums advice page there, that may help

BuckingFrolicks2 Tue 19-Dec-17 18:27:39

christ on a bike - you try and be compassionate and helpful... ain't people wonderful. 'nasty know it all fucker'?

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