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I Need Help With My Abusive 14 Year Old Brother

by Nathan

Hello. My name is Nathan. I am only 12 years old, and I have a 14 year old brother who is extremely abusive of me, my mom, and my dad.

My dad has a huge rivalry between himself and my brother. The only way to get him to behave is to physically hurt him. My parents always have that "What do we do with him?” face, and we don't have enough money to send him to boarding school.

Every night when he is at home, he sparks a situation which normally involves us fighting, yelling, and calling each other names. Every Sunday when we go to church, the whole fiasco is just escalated, and it's a lot worse.

I really would like to spend some time with my brother, but these are literally the only things he ever says to me: "No," "Shut up," and the only thing he ever calls me is “Retard.” He has no sense of appreciation or affection towards other people, and makes everyone so mad that it nearly tears the family apart.

It is currently November 28th, and my grandparents are staying for the week. Also, my 95-or-so year old grandma has been to the ER for the 3rd time now. I have a lot of stress in my life right now so it would be great if someone could get me an answer. (And trying to confront him doesn't work. He refuses to talk about his actions or emotions.)

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Nov 29, 2015
Some Perspective & Suggestions
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Nathan. Your situation is tough for you, because you're not really in a position to fix what's going on with your brother. That's your parents' job. They are the adults, and should be the authorities in your family, and it sounds like they have not successfully established their authority with your brother.

Hopefully, your parents will be willing to take a look at these audio download or CD programs, which are specifically designed to help parents deal with angry and out-of-control kids like your brother.

Meanwhile, for you personally, I suggest that you do a couple of things:

1) Do not participate in the family arguments and name calling. When that starts up, just go in another room. If they ask what you're doing, just say, "I don't want to be around all of this conflict between people I love."

2) Try to focus on what you like about your brother. His problems are not all his fault. When parents allow kids to get out of control like this, it's really the parents' responsibility, not the kid's.

3) When he's abusive to you, just walk away. Focus on your friends that like you, and try to be positive with your friends.

Above all, Nathan, believe in yourself. You're a good person, and that's why all of this conflict bothers you so much.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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