My little brother is having a fight with my dad because of his grades and he was physically beaten. He is now crying. My mother agrees with it. I disagree but do not wish to intervene because of the collateral damage.
I am against any physical violence (even verbal violence, like shouting) and I really believe it never helps. I'm just going to assume that you're parents are religious people and probably they're used to prove their points and make others understand them by fear. If you really care about your brother you should really talk to your parents even if you know they won't listen. At least you are trying to solve the problem and let them know where you stand on this. And talk to your brother too. Let him know he has someone he can rely on and who can protect him. It can be very traumatic for a child.
I have a notorious reputation as a "rebel atheist" that took allot of work to form in my family. I am also known to be, casually called, "smart". I always speak with my parents, and they get tired with my reason and rigorously way of thinking. My brother IS a rebel, 3 years younger then me, hangs out with his gang, an ordinary 'social feeder' ( smecher ). His grades are poor because, if I can say it, he doesn't give a fuck. He is very hedonistic, he is always looking for instant rewards instead of future one, i.e. he doesn't think much about the consequences of his actions. He also got into a fight and got a 3/10 mark on chemistry along with other bad grades.
My parents approach is a desperate one. They do not properly justify their words. They just "want" us to do something, not knowing how to motivate us or how to explain it ( religion is the best ), thus getting frustrated for not getting any results and they refer to verbal/physical violence to "make a point". The bad part is that my brother, because he doesn't care, he is not listening to any "good" word.
Major problem I noticed related to my brother is that he doesn't know how to learn. He just learns mechanically anything that the fucked up education system here in Romania is "teaching" ( copy-pasta ).
( major problem related to my parents: religion, obviously - my brother is a hidden atheist because he doesn't care about anything that doesn't reward him )
Do you know how I could motivate my bro. I am sure I can handle my father. Remember, my bro just doesn't care and gives up easily. He has potential to be a thinker like any other healthy child. Oh, Curiosity! Please give me some of you from my brother! He needs you!
Not everybody gets to be or wants to be the smart guy. He really needs to figure out the things that attracts him and pursue them. Not everybody likes school, not everybody likes chemistry (especially if you have an annoying overweight female teacher)... Maybe you can help him to find out what he likes to do, what he wants to do end maybe encourage him if your parents won't. School isn't everything. And in Romania the educational system is really poor. If they still have religion as a mandatory subject... And you can't be creative in romanian schools... so all you have to do is learn mechanically. So maybe your brother isn't attracted by school and there's not much you or your parents can do about this. You can only make it worse by violence or force.
Again, try to help him find out what he wants to do, and give him a little push now and then if he gives up to easy.
Permalink Reply by M on November 11, 2010 at 7:15pm
Your brother probably doesn't feel good about himself. He may puff himself up to make himself feel bigger and better and more important. Maybe you know things he's actually good at that you can verbally recognize in him. Give him positive reinforcement for the things he does well or correctly. Maybe you can find an activity or sport that you two can do together that will build his self-esteem, social skills, etc. Sometimes it's just little things that make a huge difference. And learning doesn't have to be boring. Science can be interactive. History can be a trip to a historic site.
I recommend the book "The Unmotivated Child" as something you can give to your parents to help them learn some more effective techniques than yelling and beating. They are probably frustrated too, and might appreciate some new ideas.
They might learn that they can't control their child. They can just help him go down the road he chooses and make the best out of it. The technique is not that important (even though is useless), the lesson should be changed. I think they're trying to much to control their son and that's bad, no matter what technique they use.
Seriously, if you are still living at home with your parents I would not get involved. Sure you can call the cops but they will know it was you and then you will be in a world of hurt. There is really no right answer IMO. I am so sorry for you having to go through that! I hope you can become a better parent than them! I never like hearing these types of stories!!! :(
I hope too that he really learns something from these experiences and avoid using this techniques on his future children. I had myself some experiences like this... my mother used to beat up my sister (she's 6 years older than me). Now my sister is married, has her own daughter, but I don't think she learned anything and hasn't changed anything. My niece is only 3 years old and there isn't much physical violence but the sentiment is there and is growing. I believe this is a circle of pain from which only a few come out as better persons. It really bothers me that we can't learn from our mistakes. Of course, those experiences improved my view on parent-child relations and now I know that I could never beat up my kids...
I will not reform to aggressive forms of 'teaching' on my future children. I know better than to do so. I think the one that "exit the circle" depend on their mindset and factors involved. If they are seeing violence they will learn violence even if they want it or not. The one that consciously chooses to abstain from what he "learned" when he was young leaves the circle of household violence.
"Go to your room" is like saying "I'm a terrible parent and this is all I can come up with... doh". Those who use this discipline are just avoiding the problems. And I think they are the ones failing to see the long-term effect their actions have on the child/children.
To avoid the abuse of the physical punishment I think we can remove it completely and start teaching the children from a really young age what it's best for them. I think parents should be persevering otherwise this will also backfire. It's easier to say "go to your room" when your favourite soap opera is on or when you don't feel like being a parent.
And if it were full-on beating-the-crap-out-of-your-kids kinda thing... the authorities should get involved really fast. There's no question about that. I saw on the news a new born beaten up by his dad (with his fists and stuff...). I mean... how the fuck can you beat up a new born?!?!?!?!