My Brother


#1

Well, I'm a teen and my brother is 7 years old. I love him a lot :), but I guess hes getting into that "age." He never wants to hang out with me and tends to ignore me. I try to give him advice and make sure hes ok, but he just tells me to shut up. I just feel bad and sad that he doesn't want to spend any time with me. I don't want to end up like me friends who have no relationship with their sibs, but I don't want to bother him either. And hes only 7, so its hard to have a heart to heart b/c he just gets impatient.

I just want him to know I care about him and I'm here for him if he needs me. How should I communicate that? And what kind of things can we do together (I was never a 7 year old boy :p.)

Thanks and God Bless.


#2

With younger siblings; there is a fine line between "being there" and bothering; just as there is a fine line between generosity and spoiling.

It would be best to keep an eye on him from a distance; and offer to help your parent's out if your brother need's anything; such as taking him to the denist or somesuch instead of making your parents do it. That way you can be supportive of both your parents; and your brother.

Other than that; helping him with chores (which I assume he has) might be a good way to "bond" with him; without necessarily intruding on his private life or time.


#3

I have a brother who is nearly ten years younger than I am. We have a good relationship, but the biggest mistake that I and my older brothers made was to think our youngest brother needed another parent. He didn't. Unsolicited advice from a much-older sibling is even less welcome than advice from one near your own age, because you know this much: Much-older siblings never ask for advice from the younger ones! I didn't learn until we were both adults is that what my younger brother needed most from me is to have me listen and be absolutely discrete and non-judgemental about what I heard. If I did give advice, I learned to put it in the form of "well, since you're asking, one way to look at it is this...other people I know do this....I've had the best luck with this..." Then let him decide what he decides, and if you think it's the wrong decision, bite your tongue. If he wants your opinion, he'll ask for it. If you expect him to always do what you advise, he won't ask again.

Also, if he is a boy, he isn't going to want to have a relationship by talking. He's going to want to have a relationship by doing. If you want to have a relationship with him, then, be there to help him do things that he couldn't do if you weren't there, and do it in a way that your parents don't. You may do with him about 1,000 times more than you ever talk with him. That's OK. It is the 1,000 times of doing that will even get you on the radar as someone he would dream of talking to.

So I would do this: "Jon, you know what? I finally realized something. I've been treating you as if I'm your mom, not your sister. That's kind of silly, because you already have a great mom, and a great dad."
Can we start over? I'd like to do stuff with you, just to be doing stuff together. I'd like to learn to listen like a sister, too, and not like your mom...which is to say, to not give any advice or tell you what I think unless you ask. Could we do that? Because someday when Mom and Dad are old and we have to take care of them, I'd like to know that you and I know each other, and we had fun together when we had the chance. Besides, I don't think I ever told you this, but I think you're going to be a really outstanding man. I want to spend time with you, starting right now. When we're both older, I think that's going to be something we're going to want to have done."

Then let him tell you what he wants to do, even if that is learning how to play video games. If you say, "I don't like video games", that is OK, but "I don't like video games, except with you" is even better. If he's a baseball player, take him to the batting cages...and just let him bat. No advice. Most of all, encourage him to tell you if he would like to do things differently.

Oh, and if you can think of a decision you have to make that you would be willing to leave up to him, ask him. Give him two options, both of which you are willing to do, then do what he suggests. Let him know how it worked out, and thank him for being willing to let you know his thoughts. This is a gift that most very-much-younger brothers rarely get.


#4

[quote="JohnDamian, post:2, topic:206413"]
With younger siblings; there is a fine line between "being there" and bothering; just as there is a fine line between generosity and spoiling.

[/quote]

My brothers did insist that my younger brother control himself without their having to parent him, or they wouldn't take him anywhere. He was mature at an earlier age because of that, I think, even though they did far more stuff with him than some of his peers got to do. I guess it was because, in a way, it wasn't handed to him. By his good behavior, he earned it, and he knew it.


#5

Wow!! You sound like a great sibling!! Would you consider adopting me into your family?! :smiley:


#6

[quote="Brywan, post:5, topic:206413"]
Wow!! You sound like a great sibling!! Would you consider adopting me into your family?! :D

[/quote]

It would have helped if I had figured out this great sibling stuff when I was fifteen, instead of thirty-five!
I'll admit, though, that figuring out that I wasn't my brother's mother was a great leap forward for both of us. It *really *helped....and now that we are taking care of our parents, it is something I am very glad we have.


#7

Thanks everyone for your advice. Ya, I don't like it when my older cousins boss me around, so I get where you are coming from. I'll do my best :)


#8

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