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How can i keep my older son (11) from picking on his little brother (6)?

I am completely at a loss for words on what to do when this situation arises. I've tried everything, from separation to the corner. But older brother is pretty insistent on picking on his little brother to the point where little brother will scream. Its horrible. Older one does not physically torment him, but its with words, ruining his stuff, throwing things at him, name calling, ect. I would normally think it would be the little brother picking on big brother, but not in this case. I am an only child, so i never had anyone to pick on or get picked! I don't know what to do! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks=)

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Asked by krusecat22 at 8:03 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (3)
  • What can be given can be taken away. First, I would empty out both rooms so both are on equal footing. If they have a play room - that goes to. Pack everything up while they are in school and place them in the attic, the car, a friend's house...ect. Then I would sit down with both of my two and explain that I have some concerns. That while I don't expect them to love each other, or even be best friends or friends - I do want peace in my home. I need to know that both my children are safe. I wouldn't place blame. But I will say that they can earn their items back by showing me that they are respectful. Give back items liberally as they demonstrate they can be respectful. Take items earned away as they are disrespectful. One may find he has nothing left. You don't try to make them be friends. That will either happen or not as the years roll on. cont..

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:44 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • cont..But in the mean time show you are not kidding about wanting peace in your home. Your 11 year old, if I were in your situation, may not play with other children until he is respectful of his brother. How can I trust him to not be a bully to others if he is a bully to my youngest son? You can't. Then I would consider a few family therapy sessions. Not to place blame on the older child but to have peace in my home. How awful that one family member feels terrorized and bullied in his own home? That is not right either. So really there are two issues here, 1) a child who is growing up to be a bully 2) another child who is being terrorized in his home. So taking action now will help both later on. Don't be afraid to go drastic. It is drastic when you have no peace.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:49 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I would also make sure your oldest has space away from your youngest. My big guy picks on his brother when they've been around each other enough to be getting on each others nerves. If your oldest is the entertainment committee for your little guy, then he could be somewhat resentful and may be striking out in small ways generally designed to make him go away, because he doesn't have the option to say 'kid, go away, you're annoying.'

    When my boys get to that point, I make it clear to my oldest that he can go in his room close the door and read or play for however long it takes for him to be able to interact in a way that is acceptable, and I make it clear to my youngest that he has to go entertain himself for a few hours.

    Too much togetherness can strain any relationship.

    Answer by Kestrel1 at 3:20 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

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