11 answers

Help, My Older Son Hates His Brother!!!!

I think I've seen this before but I'm going to give it a try... I have 2 sons one who is about to turn 14 and the other is 7. All they do is fight and the older one terrorizes his brother. I know that my 7 yr old has started to whine ALOT and is alittle more senstive then his other siblings but because of this, it has caused GREAT STRESS IN MY LIFE and family. My h usband thinks nothing of it and thinks the older one needs to leave his brother alone. Mind you they have different fathers so my husband tends to play favorites between the boys big time and my older son notices it as well. They share a room and that is getting worse...My hubby thinks it's normal for the boys but it's to where my ex-husband is telling me that my son is starting to hate coming over and that he is now of legal age that if he doesn't want to then he doesn't have to come home. If this happens it will break the others hearts cause they love their big brother so much.
I'm trying to think of ways to fix this for peace but not to sur. This weekend I plan on cleaning out a extra room for my oldest so he can have his own room but that leads to another problem my husband thinks the boys should share a room. If I don;t thin kof something soon I'm afraid I will lose my oldest and some how my husband would care less.
I think if I had the time this would cause for me to have yet another breakdown but between work,4 kids in sports and the house I don't have the time...I don't know what to do anymore and any suggestions would be great cause I feel I'm heading for a breakdown

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

They need separate rooms. The older boy is struggling with independence, privacy, growing up, etc. and there's a BABY in his room. I'd tell the older kid you understand his predicament, give him a lengthy project or something for him to earn his own room. Maybe he needs to improve grades or something. Or maybe you need to see that he can make peace with his brother for a month. Whatever. Just separate them!

More Answers

I think your older son should have his own space. He is a teenager and should not be sharing a room still with a seven year old. Personalities aside, the age gap is too great for them to share a room. As a teenager, your older son wants independence. He needs that to help find himself. This is why he might want to spend time at dad's...assuming he's the only child there. If there are other siblings at dad's house and he still would rather stay, then you need to look at the whole picture. Maybe he is treated more as an equal at dad's house, or more as an adult. I mean, how is he treated at home, where he shares a room with a little kid and is forced to bond with him. No doubt he probably gets blamed when the younger child is upset with him. It is not helping the younger child either. He is learning to manipulate, unintentionally, his parents, and control his big brother, to get what he wants. Whether, that means always playing with him, giving personal property to him, and taking time away from him. I think, before any moving decisions are made, a family meeting needs to take place, where everyone listens to eachothers wants and needs. You may find that separating the boys may bring them closer together. Good luck.

Some friends of ours had this same problem with their girls. They found a place that is like Outward Bounds (you can ask YMCA for help too - they typically have challenge courses). The girls had to work together to solve problems. I also saw a version of this on the TV show Nanny. She made the boys solve games together in a timed setting. The kids starting learning to work together & help each other out.
The girls are becoming better friends now. One of the problems my friend realized was that she was relying on the older sis to take care of her younger sis too much. And that the younger sis wasn't getting much attention thus she was causing problems to gain that attention.

I think your older son should get his own room. I have learned that if siblings share a room you should make sure each child gets his own free time in their room w/out the other sibling. Right now my girls are young & all they do is just sleep in their room. They don't like to "hang" out in there.

I'm sorry I can't be too much help.

Hi D.,

I agree with the other responses that your older son really needs his own room. If your husband doesn't understand that, it's okay and it doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do, don't let it stop you. He's got to have some privacy and time away from his younger brother. Not that he can completely escape time with other family member, but giving him a space that is solely alone is really necessary for him at this age.

I am 7 years older than my sister and at about your older son's age I was pretty antagonistic towards her. Keeping a close eye on them is important. Good luck! I hope things get better soon!

I'm a big reader & I would recommend trying some of the Siblings Without Rivalry books. http://fabermazlish.com/Books.htm


I have been going throught the same exact problem since July 2006. I found half the problem is what my son was being told at his dads house. We took the kids to free counseling at a church. Things are getting better. But know my younger son is looking up to the older one and wants to do everything he wants to do. lol
With that big of an age difference I think they need seperate rooms.

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have been going through the same thing for awhile now. I actually posted something like this awhile back & I think the advice that really brought it home was that I am my childs only advocate. It is my responsibilty to make sure she is safe & happy. My 11 y.o. acts the same way to my 9 y.o. My 9 y.o. is also very sensitive & I think my 11 y.o. plays off of that. (Kinda like a bully) While I love my 11 y.o., it's not acceptable behavior & I WILL NOT put up with it anymore. I think once I finally stepped up & forced her to finish out punishments (which is so hard to do with 4 kids especially when you're so busy you can't even remember punishing anyone :) ), she is slowly not doing her bad behavior as much.

Also, it kinda sounds like your ex is manipulating you & your oldest son. He should be trying to help the situation, not pushing a bigger riff between you & your son. I think if you have the room, he should get his own room. He's twice the age of your other son & they just don't share the same interests. Maybe things might change a little if he had some of his own space.

I'm so sorry you feel as if you're heading for a breakdown. I guess I've been there before, & it's no fun. If you feel as though you need to talk to someone, you're more than welcome to p.m. me. I have 4 kiddos too-& life can be insane, to put it mildly.

He NEEDS his own room, teenagers crave this thing called privacy. He is starting to go through a lot of changes in his life and the riff is happening b/c of those changes that only the 14yo understands. Ask your husband if he had to go through pubertiy with his 7 yo brother in the same room? He is dealing with A LOT, and maybe as mom you should go pick up a book on boys and puberty, my sister has two boys and she thought she knew what to expect and what was going on and so did dad (his stance leave him alone); but after reading about what to expect and what goes on she realized that he NEEDED his own space to deal with it and to go through it with out his little brother sharing the same space. I was lucky enough to always have my own room growing up and then for a while my sister and I had to move in together and I shared a room with my nephew ... talk about mysery(sp). For just one month I shared a room with him until my new apartment was ready and BOY was I ready. Your older son is thinking of himself in more adult terms now and as a right of passage his own room is a wonderful gift and needed. Good Luck with everything I hope it all works out well.


It sounds like your kids could be responding to the stress in the home. I've read a lot of your requests and they have been about suspecting your husband of cheating, not being intimate with your husband anymore, his being competive for the children's attention. Even your about me section says he doesn't help with the kids. It just sounds like there could be a lot of factors these kids are dealing with besides just not getting along. Maybe some family counseling would help ya'll deal with some of them.
Your ex is right, your son could choose to be with his dad now that he is of a certain age. It doesn't sound like he is being manipulative...it sounds like he is looking out for his kiddo. Good luck.

They need separate rooms. The older boy is struggling with independence, privacy, growing up, etc. and there's a BABY in his room. I'd tell the older kid you understand his predicament, give him a lengthy project or something for him to earn his own room. Maybe he needs to improve grades or something. Or maybe you need to see that he can make peace with his brother for a month. Whatever. Just separate them!

Hello! I know what you are going through! I am on the other side though so this might help... my 4 yr old does not get along with my husbands 13 yr old. Just like your situation, the older one can sometimes just be mean (not to say that the younger one isn't). I think that having his own room would be a good solution. It is hard for them to be so close, plus your 17 yr old is at the age where he needs is own space. That is probably the ground of the problem. It might take a while for your husband to be ok with it but I would just tell him that it is very much needed or the fighting will continue for forever... plus you need him to still come over for your own sanity!! Good luck!


Hang in there sweetie; you have so much on your plate!!

Here's what worked for me. I set a new rule in place and it included that anytime they fought, bickered, picked on each other, etc that they BOTH got in trouble. It didn't matter who started it, who continued it, etc. Whenever anything happened they both(or in my case all 3) got sent to their rooms. This encouraged them to HAVE to work as a team to stay out of trouble. It took about 2 weeks for them to figure this one out. Especially my oldest-she stopped picking fights out of boredom and stopped intentionally pushing buttons because she figured out that she'd get in trouble too if one of the little ones ended up getting all worked up. Give it a try.
I'm glad that you have an extra room and hopefully you can get your hubby to see that maybe if he has a little space it might help the family dynamic.
Good luck!


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