My son ignores his brother

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by morningcuppa, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    I'm hoping for some ideas as you have all been so wonderful with your advice on me standing up for myself to my sons.

    Eldest son (22years) does not like his brother (16years). He won't say hello back to him and the best he gets is a grunt and a scowl. Not surprisingly the younger one has given up saying hello/goodbye now as he does not get a response.

    I don't think youngest has done anything specific and is hurt by this. They have never been close but never this bad. The eldest one only says he doesn't like it because he thinks younger brother is trying to copy him. (clothes style etc)I can't see it at all. They look different and have different interests.
    This is the second bout of ignoring. The last time it went on for 4 months. They came to a truce for a month then back to square 1.
    A small clue was a few months ago when older one said younger one reminded him of himself when he was that age. He did not have a good time at 15 -18 years at all.......neither did we!

    This makes a very stressful atmosphere at home. I don't expect them to be best mates but they are brothers and shoul at least be civil.

    I'm at a loss to know what to do. I feel like ignoring the eldest one myself but that seems very childish like he is doing. Has anyone come across this before. Any tips please?

    Thank you
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    As I told you in a previous post, I would treat your eldest exactly like he is treating his brother and have everyone in the household do the same. The other way to go is to have everyone treat him with cloying sweetness but I doubt he would get the subtlety in that. It may seem childish but sometimes our kids need "mirrors" to see exactly what their actions look like. It is not a tit for tat thing but rather a do you like the image you are seeing?

    I know you've tried talking to him about this behavior and gotten nowhere. You could try putting it in black and white -- either you treat your brother with the simple courtesy that you would a stranger (if he would treat a stranger with any courtesy) or you can be in common areas of the house only when he is not around. Common areas include the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom. He can enjoy his room in solitude. You can bring him food when it is convenient to him. He can figure out a way to use the toilet at very inconvenient times.
  3. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thank you meowbunny. I might not need to do that as he is not talking to me now!

    I just got out the bath dressed in a bath robe with dripping wet hair. He asked for a lift because he is late again. I said no because I did not feel like driving him anywhere until he could be considerate to all members of the family. When he could I said I'd reconsider.
    His reaction?
    He said "Up yours" and went out slamming the door.

    Happy days...!
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Well, at least he's succinct and you don't have to guess about his feelings.

    Considering how he treats you, I'd suggest he start finding his own way to get somewhere. I don't know where you are in the UK, but I do know that your major cities and suburbs have pretty good public transportation. Not necessarily the cheapest, but good. I think it is time he started using it. If your transportation isn't so good, it is time he bought himself a bicycle (if he doesn't own one already).

    by the way -- I hope he is reimbursing you for your gasoline. Unless things have drasticslly changed from when I was there, the prices are astronomical!
  5. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    He got a taxi to the station. Trains are pretty good around here.
    When he is behaving as a 22 year old should I don't mind giving lifts but not when he is like this. I can't believe he asked me anyway as I'd just got out of the bath. Yep petrol costs are sky high!To be fair to him he does offer petrol although fool that we are we don't take it. (WHY!!!)

    It hasn't upset me as much as on other occassions. I think I will continue to be civil but no more and no more favours until he sorts himself out.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Is there a particular reason other than financial that he is living at home? I would give him an ultimatum. Be nice or move. He's too old to be living at home, and he's way too old to be shunning his little brother because he thinks he is a copy cat!

    If he doesn't have enough money to get his own place, I might give him a month to find a job - or a better job - instead of two weeks. The eviction notice must be at least way past due at this point.

  7. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Well....I'm coming from a different viewpoint here.

    So what? Big deal.

    Oldest is living with you at this time, sharing expenses, if I remember correctly. Where you live, flats are quite pricey and almost impossible if one is not sharing with his mates.

    That means, in my humble opinion, he's a boarder in my mind. Why does a boarder need to have conversation with you all. Just let him be. As long as you are collecting $$ for rent, why can't everyone carry on like there were 3 of you rather than 4?

    There is absolutely no way my difficult child 1 and easy child/difficult child 2 could live in the same household together (doesn't really matter the reasons why). My difficult child 1 is 24 and easy child/difficult child 2 is 20. Maybe when they are older, but not now.

    Being "civil" to one may be "forcing communication" to another.

    Just MHO and $.02.
  8. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thanks I am grateful for all opinions/advice.

    I still don't quite know what to do about this but your suggestions have at least given me something to think about.

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with witz. Be nice or move out. At 22, regardless of outside expenses, he can be nice and cordial to EVERYONE in the FAMILY home or get out. This situation would have me feeling very stressed and I would make a point of sitting with 22DS and explaining to him that his behavior and attitude are unacceptable and he had better change it or start apt hunting. Plus, I find it very childish for a man of 22.

    in my opinion, this is a family unit, not a boarding house. There have been plenty of times that difficult child or easy child have been angry with one another over things and not spoken to each other for a day or so, but anything that lasted longer than that, I felt, required some intervention. We're connected by blood and love and that counts for something, most assuredly basic respect and consideration of each other's feelings. If we all have to live with one another, then we must all acknowledge one another's presence on some level and respond when spoken to in a nice manner. I would never encourage my family to live as if in a boarding house with strangers.
  10. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thanks JoG.
    That is really how I feel too. As I said I don't expect them to hang out together or be best friends as they are very different. But I do think they should be civil to each other. My mum told me never to let the sun go down on your anger. I suppose that has stuck with me.
    I don't want to make matters worse between them but then again they are not talking how much worse can it get? I agree it is very childish behaviour and I think 22DS is emotionally about 5!

    I will act as I am stressed by it.I love them both and don't like to have this bad atmosphere.

    Thanks for your reply.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You know, gradually after difficult child's behaviors become unmanageable or incomprehensible for easy child, we had have many discussions about how family is family and that H and I would not be around forever and the two of them would be left with each other as the only family they have. I hated to say stuff like that, but it's true. After I grew up and became less self centered, I really began appreciating the presence of siblings in my life. I am closest with my older sister, who is 17 years my senior! Never, as a teen or young adult did I ever imagine that we'd be close - but we speak nearly every day and she lives about a 12 hour drive from me. My mom, despite all her flaws, always stressed the importance of 'family'. Even my sister who I can't stand...I would be there for her in a minute and vice versa.

    I think it's wise of you to tolerate nothing less than at least civility between the two brothers. It is YOUR home, after all and younger ds is a minor. At least 22ds can leave and go live on his own if he's that miserable around his younger brother. Jeesh.
  12. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thanks JoG, Maybe one day they will be close too. I hope so.
    In the meantime I am working on laying down some limits. This is really hard for me as he can be scary. But I'll do it anyway.

    Should I order the new doors now I wonder or wait a bit? :hammer:
  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Wait and make him pay for them.