08-10-2020 03:57 PM
I am an 18 year old who pretty much has to raise my brothers by myself. My mum works night shifts so i have to make sure that, every night, my brothers have dinner, do their homework, shower etc. as well as making sure i do well in school, do my own homework and have a decent social life. My brothers are aged 13 and 10 and they constantly fight with each other. every time i tell them off, its like they forget everything i say about an hour after. They've seen me have mental breakdowns and cry my eyes out for hours and they still never seem to care.
i never expected to live like this, to raise two boys, i cant even get a job. i dont know what to do and they driving me crazy because they never listen to me. i make them dinner every night, i clean u after them, i try to help them resolve their fights, but they still dont take me seriously.
can any experienced parents give me any advice?
08-10-2020 11:12 PM
That sounds really really exhausting @brotherskeeper, and I can totally understand why you would be feeling so stressed and worn out after having to look after your brothers all the time. It can be especially difficult to look after kids who are pre-teen, as they can often really fluctuate in mood and maturity, depending on the situation and how they're feeling. I know a lot of the parents on here will be able to give a lot of really good advice, but I was wondering if you've been able to have a sit down talk with them and explain the situation for your point of view. It can sometimes be helpful to explain that you aren't trying to be bossy, or be mum, but you do love them and care about them a lot and so that's why you're trying to help with taking care of them
08-11-2020 02:11 AM
I have tried multiple times, ive told them that although i know im not mum, its my job to look after them and that it isnt always easy for me, and ive asked them if they could behave to make it a little bit easier on me. they always seem to understand right after i tell them and say that they will try to stop fighting, but then they just fight again. they dont listen when i speak nicely, they dont listen when i try to be stricter either. it almost feels as if they just dont care about anything i say.
08-11-2020 11:12 AM
Hi @brotherskeeper ,
It sounds like you are doing an amazing job in a really tough situation - as a parent of an 11 year old myself I can really empathise with what you're going through.
I'm wondering if you've ever had a family discussion with your mum, where you set some house rules? At 10 and 13 they should be able to help out with some basic household tasks, like helping to cook dinner, cleaning up, and other tasks like putting on some laundry etc- that way getting everything done doesn't fall totally on your shoulders. The raising children's network has some great articles on setting family rules, and
following up with consequences. Chatting as a family about consequences means that everyone knows where they stand and things are predictable - and it might help if your mum is involved in those discussions, so that they can see that it's not just coming from you.
It sounds like it must be pretty exhausting for you to be juggling all of this - do you ever get time to have a break and do some self care/ activities that you enjoy that are just for you?
08-11-2020 11:38 AM
We have already had a sit down talk where my mum was involved and it still did not work. My cousin and i feel like my youngest brother may have some attention or behavioural issues, but my mum still babies him. The boys have set chores, but they never do them properly despite how many times ive taught them, so i end up having to re do them.
I'll make sure to check out those articles. the only time i get time to myself is during the day, when my mum is home, in between my classes. i did have a small herb collection, but the 10 year old thought that it would be fun to throw mud into my plants. i used to take a bath to ease stress but our new house does not have one.
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