Sibling Violence Advice Please!
08/07/2007 at 13:40 PM

I have a major problem here and I am at the end of my wits with it. I have two teenage children, an 18 year old daughter, and a 16 year old son. They have never gotten along, and fighting has always been common between the two of them.

But the problems between them have gotten progressively worse.  My son spends all of his time insulting my daughter. She responds by cursing and insulting back at him. My son then will get violent with my daughter. He has even before slashed her arm with a kitchen knife and smashed a guitar over her head. This all goes on when I am at work. When I am at home, the fighting is minimal and the kids tend to stay clear of each other.

My daughter hates her life because of this. She constantly says she has thoughts of running away or killing either herself or her brother. Every day she tells me that she cannot live in the same house as him. When I confront my son about this, he claims my daughter is lying and he never does anything to her. For some reason I know my daughter is telling the truth. I can see the trauma this is causing her. I can't afford professional help, and I am sick of crying to sleep every night because my kids literally want to kill each other. I fear that I will come home one day to find one of my children dead and the other one run off. I just don't know what to do. Please help me.

                                            Concerned Mother

Hey pink,


Welcome to the boards.  You can't afford not to get professional help.  There are programs that will get your son the help he needs without costing you more than you can afford.  Call your doctor and ask about programs that can get you in for free or very very little cost.  Sometimes the county health dept will have something where counselors volunteer their time to help.  It is easy to see if your daughter is really slashed on the arm or if the guitar is broken, so I am not sure how your son thinks he can get away with lying about this.  And I know this is going to sound harsh but I would tell my daughter to call the police if anything like that happens again and I would tell my son that I told her to do that.  It is completely unacceptable for one sibling to be abusing another sibling like that and it should be treated as such.


Anyone else have any ideas?




Your son needs to be evaluated ASAP. I would start with convincing him his anger is destructive, he may need medication. I dont know you're religion, but catholic charities can help/call ask a clergy person to be their first counselor, to help steer him towards wanting help for his anger management. Depression could be making him so irritable towards her and she may have it also, Victims of abuse develop depression, very normal reaction.
Take her to the emergency room. I would think twice about involving the law-it sometimes makes it 10X more stressful, scarey, etc. and I say with knowledge police call CPS and they might turn on you, that you haven't done anything, etc.


I agree with Marti, she should call the police! At any rate, you have two main issues. The first, find protection for your daughter. Where can she be during the day while you are at work? She CANNOT stay home with him another day, period!!!!! If nothing else, take her to work with you. She will always remember that you cared enough about her to save her life. Your relationship will get stronger for it. Now, your son. Anger management classes are the FIRST order of business. As he learns to control his anger, he will deal with his problems and figure out why he has anger issues in the first place. Sign him up for classes that take place when you can take him, (I wouldn't count on him going just because you ask him too). Also, at 18, he is an adult now. He does not have to live at home, you do not have to provide a roof over his head. Let him know that if he chooses to continue to live with you, he will take these classes and he will follow your rules. Be ready to change the locks. I know this sounds harsh too (like calling the police), but this situation has escalated to a point that calls for harder action. Sibling rivalry should have been handled a long long time ago. (I'm sorry, but that's the truth, and unfortunately, you know that too). At this point, tough love is your best option. Protect your daughter, get help for your son. I see a very happy life for all of you down the road, the work is worth it! Be strong, I will pray for you!


my heart goes out to you love i have a similar problem with my 2 and theres no real help out there.  


What a stressful situation. My daughter and son used to fight like crazy... not to the extreme of using weapons, but their was some physical violence. Once my daughter got her own place everything changed. They are now best friends and she takes him camping and fishing with her all the time. Regarding counseling... it is a good idea, and the Catholic church will help you out whether you are Catholic or not, so you might talk to the local parish priest about it. I will keep you in my prayers.


Jim, draw us a map so we can all get to your perfect world where children never make bad decisions, fight, or lie. You have this idea of how to raise perfect children, and how to be a perfect parent, but you have never applied your ideas in the real world. If you had ever done so, you would see that children actually have a mind of their own, but maybe the books don’t teach that. Jim, who taught you to read all the parenting books? I think you like playing the victim role.


>GOOD FOR THEM! That is a wonderful story and I'm glad they finally over came the early conditioning to abuse to each other.
hostile. assumes that parents conditioned children to abuse each other.