For years our 16 year old son has provoked his younger sister. The pattern has been the same for years and nothing we do or say seems to help. He makes provocative little comments (insults or judgments) and she massively over reacts (mostly angrily raises her voice). He seems to have no respect for her and thinks she’s at fault as much as him for the ‘fights’. And sometimes these little mean comments do turn into fights in that she will hit her older brother at which point he does not hit back but smugly calls out her over reaction. Similarly if his jibes bring her to tears he’ll usually say she’s over reacting. Of course we are coaching our daughter in moderating her over-reactions but this is something I understand and feel will improve with maturity and support. It’s my sons almost sub conscious meanness to her that I can’t understand or make headway with. We’ve asked him why he does it and he doesn’t seem to know. Does he enjoy making her upset?! We’ve talked a lot about this situation as a family and recognising the relationship isn’t great he has at times made significant and genuine effort to stop the jibes and connect with her particularly by suggesting things they can do together. But his provoking, mean little comments soon come back and seem automatic and even sub conscious. In so many other ways he is a very kind and very caring kid. But in this aspect of his life he is insensitive and disrespectful. I want them to have a good relationship as adults but feel time is running out. What can I do?
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