Parenting --Teens/Sibbling Hatred


Dear Mr. Windell,

My son is 14 y.o.  Since about 11 y.o. he has started to hate his brother who is now 10 y.o. and his sister 7 y.o.  He always feels that they are annoyed and almost always stops them from talking, laughing, singing even if it is not related to him and of course from approaching him.  He often starts to fight with them whenever they have to be together such as at the mealtime or in the car.  He is pretty smart at school and very nice to his friends.  I am very tired to explain things to him and to his brother and sister, those two do very well get along with each other.  
My question is if separating them as much as I can is a good solution until my 14 y.o. grows up more or please provide me with your advices to this problem.  Thank you very much for taking your time to help us.

Hello Chi,
This is annoying for you when you have sibling fighting and conflict. However, given that your son is doing well in most other parts of his life, it seems unlikely that this is indicative of a behavior problem. Also, this started as he began adolescence, so I think that has something to do with it. Teens often find younger siblings irritating and annoying.
While you can continue to lecture him about treating his younger brother and sister with patience, kindness, and tolerance, that is not likely to cause any real change. The better strategy, I think,  is to keep them apart, but when they are together supervise them so the younger kids don't get treated too badly.
I believe that what you said about waiting until your son is older and more mature makes sense. When he has matured, say, after he is 17, he is more likely to see his brother and sister differently.
James Windell

Parenting --Teens

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James Windell


I am a parent trainer, psychotherapist, and author specializing in parenting issues.During the past 40 years I`ve worked with parents with discipline problems and challenging children. I give frequent lectures and workshops related to discipline, social skills, and aggressive children. I consult with various agencies and schools where there are child behavior problems. I am listed in the American Psychological Associations` media panel as an expert on parenting and am frequently quoted in leading magazines and newspapers.


I have worked in a juvenile court as a clinical psychologist and as a psychotherapist in private practice. In the Oakland County (MI) Juvenile Court, I developed an award-winning parent training program for parents of adolescent delinquents. In addition I have done group therapy with adolescent delinquents using a social skills-building model. I have consulted with courts, schools, churches, preschools, and domestic violence shelters in areas of parenting.

I received my BA with a major in Psychology in 1963 from Wayne State University. I got my MA in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University in 1972.

I am a member of the American Psychological Association and the Michigan Psychological Association. I have written pamplets, newspaper articles, and professional journal articles. I have been the Coping With Kids columnist for several newspapers for 26 years, and my columns appear weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been the author or co-author of 16 books. My books include, 8 WEEKS to A WELL-BEHAVED CHILD, CHILDREN WHO SAY NO WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO SAY YES, 6 STEPS TO AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT TEENAGER, and THE FATHERSTYLE ADVANTAGE. My most recent parenting book (2012) is THE EVETYTHING CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT BOOK. I have appeared on over 180 radio and TV shows related to my books and parenting. For more information about me, my books and columns, go to my website at

I have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University.

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