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Subject: A problem with kids rss

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Tuomas Korppi
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I have the following problem and I do not know what to do to it.

So, my sister has two sons, 4 years old and 7 years old. The 4yo typically harasses the 7yo, and the parents do not do anything to stop this. Typically, finally the 7yo gets enough sooner or later and revenges the harasing. Then the 4yo runs crying to his parents, and the 7yo gets the blame for teasing the 4yo, although it usually (in my point of view) is not his fault. He was simply defending himself.

I feel very uneasy getting involved with others' methods of upbringing, but I really feel sorry for the 7yo. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Society of Watchers
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Killbuck
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I feel for you. Unfortunately we live in a time that doesn't really acknowledge that it takes a village and rather overemphasizes "parent rights".

The best I can say is quietly and subtly try to help the 7 year old figure ways of responding differently that won't end up with him getting into trouble.

While still very young, he's older than his sibling and so has greater responsibility for the situation. Defending himself is not an excuse and, as a teacher, I never accept that as an excuse - if they were the same age, both would get in trouble. The 7 year old can be taught better ways of dealing with an annoying younger sibling that might make the relationship better.
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Amy Wiles
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Have you considered taking your sister aside privately, when this behavior is not going on, and explaining to her that you have seen this occur? I don't know your sister's temperament, but if it were me, I would want to know.

I also agree with Miles; talk with the 7-year-old about alternatives.

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fightcitymayor
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Inform the 4-yr-old that every time you see him harass the 7-yr-old, you will chop off one of his fingers.
Then chop off a toe to prove you mean business.
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Seth Brown
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Wait, are you saying this isn't how all sibling relationships work growing up? Because as an older brother, that just sounds normal to me.
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Tuomas Korppi
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mileser wrote:
I feel for you. Unfortunately we live in a time that doesn't really acknowledge that it takes a village and rather overemphasizes "parent rights".

The best I can say is quietly and subtly try to help the 7 year old figure ways of responding differently that won't end up with him getting into trouble.


The other ways to respond being exactly what?

As an adult, I still think that revenge is the only way to respond, if harassing is not recognised by authorities. In my adult environment, both harassing and my response would be verbal instead of physical, but the same principle applies. I can defend myself verbally, if needed, and during my 17 adult years, the need to respond to harassment has arised exactly once.

Quote:
Defending himself is not an excuse and, as a teacher, I never accept that as an excuse


I do accept physical violence as a defence against physical violence. (For the record, I do not accept pre-emptive strikes you Americans seem to be so fond of.)
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Billy McBoatface
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Our kids do the same thing. My solution is usually to wait until they are both fighting, then punish them both equally. It's not really fair, because the younger does usually start it, but on the other hand we make sure the older always has some alternatives; for example, our house is big enough that the kids have separate rooms, and we say that you *have* to get out of your siblings room when asked. So if the older can hold her temper well enough to go in her room and request to be alone, then she can avoid punishment for fighting.

Not sure what you can do. Rather than tell your sister you don't like what she's doing, I'd tell her that you feel bad for the older son; that he seems to always get blamed for things that aren't his fault. Your sister might get annoyed if she feels like you're telling her how to raise her kids, but she probably won't get annoyed if you present it as you empathizing with her son.
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Andy Andersen
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Cameras in every room. 24 hour surveillance. You've got to nip this in the bud.

I believe at least 12 major wars in the world began with a problem like this.

Or, you take fightcitymayor's suggestion. Take a toe.
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Jeff G
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The 7 yo needs to learn the lesson that it's always the second person that gets caught.
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The neutral evil villain known as
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Orangemoose wrote:
Cameras in every room. 24 hour surveillance. You've got nip this in the bud.






I agree, tape it on your phone and send it to the mom. LOL!
Soon he'll learn to be sneaky about revenge.
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Ben Lott
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I can offer no advice because I have no kids and no experience. However I have been in your position and I will tell you this, don't be sorry for the 7yo, it's the 4yo who will see the most permanent damage from this situation.

"Oompa Loompa doompadee doo
I've got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompadee dee
If you are wise you will listen to me
Who do you blame when your kid is a brat
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?
Blaming the kids is a lion of shame
You know exactly who's to blame:
The mother and the father!
Oompa Loompa doompadee dah
If you're not spoiled then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do"
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David
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amwiles wrote:
Have you considered taking your sister aside privately, when this behavior is not going on, and explaining to her that you have seen this occur? I don't know your sister's temperament, but if it were me, I would want to know.
I agree with this. They may be genuinely unaware and might be glad to have an impartial outsider bring this to their attention. It's impossible to understand the reasons for this problem from a distance but there is no question that they have a problem and that the parents are not dealing with it (appropriately).
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Zé Mário
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Sounds like the usual older-brother-burden.

Tell him that upon growing up, every time his brother messes up something, he'll hear "why can't you be more like your older brother?". - the younger-brother-burden
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This is exactly what used to happen with me and my younger sister. She even acknowledges the fact now we're both older. I wouldn't worry overly about it.
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Jay Weesner
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fightcitymayor wrote:
Inform the 4-yr-old that every time you see him harass the 7-yr-old, you will chop off one of his fingers.
Then chop off a toe to prove you mean business.


Hilarious!
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