Sibling rivalry - between brothers
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|Wed, 07-16-2003 - 8:17pm|
Brother #1: age 13 - very kind-hearted, sensitive, a people-person. Constantly worries about other people and tries to anticipate wants/needs, trying to please. Not effeminate (sp?), but rather a nerd. Picks his nose and eats the buggers. So attuned to failure that he ceases to try for success - esp. in school. Won't do chores unless threatened with punishment. Obsessed with money, but refuses to work for it. Poor grades and severely learning disabled. Overweight, detests exercise. Very sensitive to comfort levels (complains loudly about clothing that's itchy, or temperatures too warm, or food that looks "icky" - no matter how it tastes, etc.)
Enter Brother #2: age 11 - a tough, energetic, and unforgiving boy who thinks whining and crying are for girls. A's and B's in school. Maturity level far above his age - more mature than his older brother. Also obsessed with money, but finds odd jobs on his own from neighbors to earn it. Constantly on the go - riding bicycles, mowing lawns, or playing baseball. Rarely complains, except about his brother. Very aggressive in play, often starts fights with schoolmates or his brother. Prideful, but not selfish.
Now these two are about as different as night and day, and they HATE each other. I mean literally. They cannot be left alone together without supervision. Bro.#2 actually gets more freedom, because he's more responsible and trustworthy. Bro.#1 sometimes makes choices that make me fearful of even putting him on the school bus by himself.
I wish I could find a way to encourage a more postive self-concept and responsibility in Brother #1, but it's really HARD to find anything to reward him for! Meanwhile, Brother #2 sees the problems and does the OPPOSITE to try to win all the attention and rewards for himself. Their parents are blind to this game and just perpetuate it, which only damages Bro.#1 more and drives him further into his shell of failures, and drives Bro.#1 toward a more spiteful attitude toward his brother.
Any ideas or advice on how to deal with this? How to help Bro.#1 begin striving for success while teaching Bro.#2 to ease up on his brother and show some kindness?