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8 yo is a gem one on one, a terror with his brother

 
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amother




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Post Fri, Jul 30 2021, 9:55 am
My 8 yo is a gem one on one, or even with his baby sister. When it’s just him or just him and the baby, he is darling, helpful, thoughtful, considerate, interested in spending time with me and cooking in the kitchen etc- I genuinely enjoy his company. But when he is with his younger brother (age 4) all h e l l breaks loose. 4 yo idolizes him and they do have some great times together but 4 yo also triggers him and bothers him- hitting or pinching him, teasing him etc- which drives my 8 yo nuts and he turns into a monster. He overreacts which he in turn gets me and my husband angry at him and it becomes an unbearable atmosphere.

This morning he and ds 4 got into it, they were wild and calling eo names and fighting, so they each got a consequence. Ds 8 went ballistic at his consequence (no screen time today), and chose to stay home from day camp and miss the end of color war Crying
I let him make that decision out of respect for his boundaries, although I do feel sad because he may regret it. I feel sad it came to this point. But honestly he does seem happier now that ds 4 is in school and he’s home with the baby. He’s chill, riding his bike, playing with the baby, in a much calmer mood. Maybe he’s an introvert like me. Or maybe he needs to learn how to control his temper (like me and dh). How can I help him/us improve the overall situation?
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amother




Indigo
 

Post Fri, Jul 30 2021, 1:42 pm
If he is an introvert, which is certainly a possibility, you may need to help him learn his boundaries. Talk to him about how you sometimes feel yourself getting overwhelmed by being around people so much and you need to take a break to recharge.

When playing with DS4, he may not realize when he's going past his limits. Maybe like toilet training, try asking him every 20 minutes if he's still okay or needs a break, or encourage a break every hour or two.

If DS4 is an extrovert, you may need to teach him to respect DS8's boundaries, and let him know that it's okay for his brother to take a break, and that he needs to leave him alone during that time.

Maybe even designate a space (refrigerator box, tent, closet) as an off-limits "base" for DS8 to have as his own.
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