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Help sibling abuse - teen

Posted by on Sep. 22, 2017 at 12:03 PM
  • 15 Replies
I am in a serious predicament. Last night my husband and I went to a concert to celebrate our wedding anniversary which was a couple hours away from home. My eldest son (16) was supposed to watch his brother's (14 & 9). The general rule is that they coexist. No one is "in charge" mainly because the conflict that can come up with giving one of the boys power over each other. I only asked that he feed his brother's and dog and make sure the dog goes down. A very simple task.

Well the opposite happened, a conflict arose out of who has to take the dog down and my eldest called right before the concert started to tell me he was doing the dishes and asked his brother (14) to take the dog down and he was refusing to help. So I told his brother to take the dog down since my eldest was doing other chores and he agreed.

Fast forward to a couple of hours later and I get a very long detailed text from my oldest about how my middle child was confrontational agreed walking the dog and so chilled number one took it upon himself to physically handle the situation because kid number 2 refused to go to his room and that huge too his phone away and put it in my room. This kind of behaviour is way out of character for my middle son and I feel like a part of the story told by child 1 was either exaggerated about his role in the incident or he omitted things.

Remember, I'm 2-3 hours away depending on traffic. I can't get to them in a reasonable amount of time. So I text a couple of friends to see if they can check on the kids for me and unfortunately no one was available and I have no family here in Florida either. So I ask my mom to call and check on the boys, specifically my middle child, so she gets a another relative to call my oldest to tell him to give the phone back to the brother and to talk to him to get info and diffuse anything if necessary. While my mom talked to my younger boys on their phone. The story they tell her is much more violent. They told her my eldest pinned his brother to the ground and threatened to cut out his tongue if he tells on him. He also hit him several times and told said my middle son that he won't be able to prove anything because he can hurt him without leaving marks.

My oldest son has for some reason always been a bit of a bully but not in a way in which he taunts or makes fun of. More in an authoritative way. As if he demands respect and obedience from his brother's. Everytime we have caught him behaving in this way we have always stopped it, with explaining to him that it is not his role to be the parent and that he can't demand his brothers to stay in their room at all time. We are currently living in a small space and I had made the dining room into a makeshift bedroom so he doesn't have to share his bedroom with both of his brother's and he has been given nearly everything he wants. So I get that he doesn't have a ton of privacy which can suck for a teen but it's still no excuse for his behavior.

My oldest doesn't think he's done anything wrong and that he was responding to his brother antagonizing him. As we were driving home my current husband indicated that I have enabled this behavior because my consequences haven't been severe enough and accused me of victim blaming when I stated that I was going to punish both children for fighting. In his mind that it doesn't matter what my middle child said or refused to do, Because he didn't start anything physically and therefore did nothing wrong. He even thinks my oldest should be sent away to stay with other family members because he doesn't believe my younger children aren't safe with him around. He thinks I let my oldest get away with too much because my ex-husband was abusive toward me and some of the things my eldest said to his brother last night were things my ex-husband would say to me. So it's clear that this behavior stems from his father who is no longer in the picture and has been out of the picture for almost two years now. But because he's almost 17 years old I don't know that counseling is going to be enough and I also have to he sure his brother's are safe I've talked to my mom in Oklahoma and she is wants to take him and out him in counseling there, but part of me feels like that is just giving him what he wants. He hates that we moved to Florida away from his dad. He resents that my current husband adopted them at the request of his biological father who didn't want anything to do with the kids after the divorce, he feels entitled to getting expensive things, and he lies, and talks at me like his bio father did. It doesn't matter how many times I have grounded him, told him not to disrespect me when he talks to me.

I let my younger two stay home from school today so I can get to the bottom of what happened last night without my eldest there. And my 9 year old told me that he almost pee'd himself because he was so scared and he couldn't move and told me that my oldest sounded insane.

It's come out that in the past when I have needed him to babysit that my oldest has hurt his brother and threatened him with violence of he tells. So I am just finding out that this wasn't a first time for this.... It was just the first time anyone had told me about it. This information also came from my 9 year old when I talked to him privately.

I would appreciate some advice from experienced parents especially those who have experience with sibling bullying/abuse.
by on Sep. 22, 2017 at 12:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Emerald Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM
1 mom liked this

If the older son has been hurting the other boys, then he needs counseling at least.

Don't leave the boys on their own (even though they are plenty old enough)- hire a sitter.

by Ruby Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 12:16 PM
3 moms liked this
Get the whole family into counseling now.
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by Sapphire Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 12:29 PM

Aww . .sounds like oldest needs some counseling,
Hopefully that will help ..
And Sit them all down together & speak w/ them.
Remind them that hurting each other is not an option :)

by Platinum Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 1:28 PM
Should I consider pressing domestic abuse charges against my teen?
by Carrie on Sep. 22, 2017 at 1:31 PM
2 moms liked this
He needs professional help.

Quoting jenniamigo: Should I consider pressing domestic abuse charges against my teen?
by Silver Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 1:32 PM

First off I am sorry that went on...Second I agree with everyone else and try counseling...I hope that things will be OK,good luck...

by Silver Member on Sep. 22, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Ditto...and if you were 2-3 hrs away I don't think I would have left them alone even if he is 16. I'd hire a sitter from here on out.

Quoting Bmat:

If the older son has been hurting the other boys, then he needs counseling at least.

Don't leave the boys on their own (even though they are plenty old enough)- hire a sitter.

by Platinum Member on Sep. 23, 2017 at 11:01 AM
1 mom liked this

I think it would be best to have the oldest go hang out with friends when you're not going to be there to supervise them all. It sounds like the 14 year old and 9 year old would be much better off (and the 14 year old is old enough to keep an eye on his little brother). 

Also, my opinion is that they could ALL benefit from some counseling, but the oldest needs some anger management classes or something in addition to seeing a counselor.

by Trica on Sep. 23, 2017 at 3:11 PM
The others said, counseling. ASAP
by Gold Member on Sep. 23, 2017 at 9:48 PM
So you cant leave them alone, number one. Two, you need to address this with your oldest and get him into therapy. The whole family should be receiving counseling due to the goal of repairing the family dynamic. Your oldest could be charged with assault. if you allow him access to the younger kids again given you know this happened, you could be liable for child endangerment. Our youngest two boys are 3 yrs apart and are oil and water. Leaving them together was a recipe for phone calls and drama similar to what you described. I had one in after care till 7th grade, then they were both in after school teams and clubs , avoiding extended periods alone. As far as going out and leaving them you will need to take preventive measures... arrange a sitter for the 9 yr old or have him go to a friends house.. then you need to split up the teens- one off to the movies, another to the laser tag place, for example-- then you and dh can get dinner..
but have a conversation with your pediatrician snd get referrals for counseling -- it gives the kids a place to talk and be heard and provides them with strategies for maturing and being mentally and emotionally healthy.. good luck, it will get better if you take steps to protect and support all three of them.
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