Filling the parenting role - I need help

by Garrett 7 Replies latest social family

  • Garrett

    Hey guys,

    So, as you may know, I'm 21 and an older brother to an 12 year old boy. Our father was a severe drug addict that tried to kill my family. When I turned 18 I left home and returned to my home country. A year later, my brother and mother joined me after my father tried to murder them. Need less to say, he is no longer in our lives. We now live together and have been doing so for about a year.

    currently I'm unemployed and can't provide for the family, but the government is helping a lot and my mom has a part time job. This helps us get by quite comfortably.

    my current issue is my little brother. Over the last year I find myself being less of an older brother and more of a father. I don't know if it's good or bad but I'd like your input on it. Tactfully, please :)

    my next issue is that my younger brother is constantly saying that he's sick. Anytime we ask home to do anything that could be considered a chore, he becomes sick. He didn't go to school for two days because my mother thought he was sick even though he had no fever and no signs of being ill. Currently we are having fights because I feel he's playing sick so as to get out of doing anything he doesn't want to do. I was wondering if any of you could give me any insight. He's been like this for a few weeks now.

    i don't know what to do guys, I want the best for him and love him and I didn't ask for this, but I feel this is my role right now... I feel like I need to stay here and raise my brother as well as look after my mom...

  • Finkelstein

    Call his bluff and insist that he take some pain meds or cold and flu meds and send him off to his chores.

    If he is really sick and its obvious, then you'll will know for sure by his physical presence.

    Press what his responsibilities are to himself and his family.

    He may think that since your not working and loafing around the house that he can too .

    Young teens many times follow by older role models, such as older siblings and parents.

  • DesirousOfChange

    I'd say call his bluff that when he is too sick to do the chores he is also too sick to play video games or go out with friends or watch TV.

    You can't go to school, you can't go to the pool.

    You can't do your chores, you can't go to the stores.

    After all, when a kid is sick, he needs to REST.


  • fulltimestudent

    Is professional assistance available to you in your country? A murder attempt by someone as close as his father is traumatic. I don't think most of us could handle the consequences of that experience.

    One thing, even though his behaviour is frustrating - don't quarrel with him, it wont help, and will create barriers. Get the help he needs.

  • cleanideas
    I would recommend to continue to assure your little brother of your love for him. Fighting will push him further away. Make sure you say the words and let him know of your support in his life and you want the best for him. Being 12 is hard and he's no doubt trying to exert his own growing independence. Being "sick" from school could mean a problem at school he is having difficulty with. Maybe try to draw out his thoughts a little more when he claims to be sick. Remember to have lots of patience, and overall a 12 year old acting like this nothing too unusual. Hope it all works out for you two!
  • jwfacts

    You don't need to be his father, he will resent you. Be a role model.

    I was in a somewhat similar situation, in that I married a woman with a 10 year old boy when I was 28. I could not replace his father, and to try would have driven a wedge between us. I never hit him, and whilst I tried to guide him, I left the ultimate parenting to his mother. We have ended up as good friends as a result.

    Teenage boys usually become difficult, lazy and rebellious. I had to realise not to take it personally with my stepson, and you will need to do the same. When he is difficult with you, it is not because you are his brother, or a fill in father, it is simply a natural part of growing up.

    When he does stupid things, don't be too hard on him. That is how people learn.

  • LisaRose

    I think it's good you are stepping up to being a father figure for your brother, obviously he needs that. It's probably better to have your mom deal with him though, as she is the parent. He is probably still suffering from the turmoil of the last few years. Have your mom discuss with the teacher to make sure there aren't issues there.

    Then She should tell him that if he is sick he should stay in bed with the lights dimmed, no tv, no computer, no reading. I think he will have a quick recovery under those circumstances.

  • Garrett

    Hey guys,

    thank you all for your responses! I really appreciate :) It's helped a lot.

Share this