is easy child a difficult child or victim?


New Member
I am thinking of taking easy child to counseling. The last few months there has been a big change in him and obviously not for the better. Yet I don't believe easy child is a difficult child but is under so much stress from living with an older brother who is a difficult child. My difficult child was a difficult child since the day we brought him home from the hospital and of course as he grew, so did all the problems. easy child was totally opposite of his brother. easy child was always calm, happy, content, could play on his own, slept well, listened well, you could reason with him, etc... But I think easy child 7 yrs of living with all the drama, screaming, antics, battles, you name it that goes on in our home due to difficult child has finally gotten to easy child.
difficult child has never really treated easy child nicely. He picks on him, teases him, bullies him, does nothing nice for him etc..... husband and I have always done our best to "protect" and shield easy child from difficult child's rages, outburst... however I see now the effect it is having on easy child as he grows because he is just around it daily.
easy child has a strong personality. Thinks he is 7 going on 17. He is smart, wise and always has something to say on any matter. For the past few months I have noticed that easy child gets angry quickly and often especially any time difficult child is involved. He is starting to scream and yell about everything difficult child is doing or gets to do that he can't due to the age difference. Some of it is " little brother syndrome" I believe but his anger is always directed at difficult child. easy child is even becoming defiant and disrespectful to husband and I and back talking constantly. He is giving us a hard time doing homework and going to bed. When he is punished he tells us he doesn't care and is smug about it. He is treating all of us the way difficult child has been treating us for ever. Yet, I really think stress and frustration is causing him to act out this way.
Yesterday after school, easy child was on computer and difficult child came in with a friend and wanted to go on. difficult child gave easy child a hard time about getting off and told easy child he could watch them play. easy child got off computer and with in a few minutes, difficult child was screaming at easy child to get away, he way annoying them, screaming at him to shut up, he was an idiot. I was there in the same room and all easy child was doing was asking about the game, nothing more but this is how difficult child is. I made difficult child and friend get off the computer. Then they all went outside. There are alot of kids on the block except easy child is the youngest and always tries to join in. Now the other kids are all nice to easy child, except for difficult child who tells easy child to go home, he is not good at any game they play, etc... difficult child is always with a nasty mouth for easy child. easy child was then screaming at the top of his lungs that difficult child was an idiot, stupid, he hates him, wishes he were dead.... I made them both come in. Now they were both angry and jawing at each other. We sit down for dinner and easy child starts carrying on that he didn't like the shape pasta we were having and he wasn't eating. Now he is crying saying it's not fair that I don't make what he likes... all blown out of proportion. This is just a small example of one incident but we are having constant ones like this.
Sorry this is long. Do any of you take your easy child for help? I really feel badly for him. I don't think easy child is the person he should be and he is so unhappy and angry about every little thing all the time. For a long time I wondered what I did wrong with difficult child and I was a bad parent till I let myself understand that he has problems and we have to manage, adjust , and get help along the way. It is a constant changing battle. With easy child, I feel though that I have to do more to "save him" and get help. Do you think counseling can help him? It is so sad and unfair to him but there is no way I am living with another difficult child!! I have to help him deal with his emotions and the fact he has a difficult child as an older brother.


Well-Known Member
Counselling? Depends... on the kid, the counsellor, and what is really happening inside.

I'd be somehow carving out easy child-time. Out-of-the-house, away-from-difficult child time. Doing literally ANYTHING that easy child enjoys... ideally, stuff that allows for talking. Watching a sports event. Biking, hiking, swimming. Going out for ice cream. easy child needs guaranteed pockets of YOUR time and attention.


Well-Known Member
I would actually take him to somebody good, like a psychologist. Let him figure out if it's stress of something that you have to work on with him. Don't try to diagnose your own child. Sometimes we are wrong. At the very least, easy child needs to be able to talk to somebody who isn't in the family and emotionally involved. I would do it, if it were me, rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop. I tend to be proactive.


Well-Known Member
I too would consider therapist for him. And definitely making sure he gets quality alone time with both parents away from stress at home.

But still, be very careful in always seeing him a victim and your difficult child being one in blame. Kids are extremely good at noticing if there is a 'family scapegoat' and taking an advantage. It's totally normal but it is not good for the kid, who learns to manipulate parents and putting blame to someone else. Always being a 'good child' and feeling superior to your sibling is not good for character development.

We have had some of that dynamic in our house. Our easy child is younger than out difficult child and very easy child, really a super kid that tends to be good at everything. And it is so very easy to go with an assumption that when something goes wrong, it is always difficult child's fault (because most times it is) and easy child is a victim or unwilling/coerced/deceived accomplice. And if the easy child in that situation is even a little bit smart, they tend to take it and run. Not a good dynamic for anyone!

We tried to avoid that, therapists we worked with warned us about it and we tried to be aware. Now that our boys are older and difficult child has been out from house almost three years, it is obvious that still a lot of that was going on. And it is not too pretty. Looks very ugly on easy child at times and if our difficult child wouldn't be quite accomplished in the art of forgiveness (and have quite low self-worth, he thinks it is his fault), would be a big problem in our family relationships.


I've taken some of my pcs to tdocs off and on over the years. It is really hard to live with difficult children.


Warrior Mom since 2007
I feel like I could have written the opening post. Similar situation here. I agree with making sure easy child gets one on one time. Yes it is hard for everyone living with a difficult child.


I Completely understand, my daughter is " done" with her brother. Yes, counseling if needed and more one on one time if possible