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Parenting --Teens/My brother is out of control and so is my mum


Hello,Thank you very much for devoting your time to help others like me.I am in a desperate need of help, My family is tearing apart and I can't do anything to stop it. The problem is my brother, he was one of the kindest people ever,But as he turned 15 he totally changed, he started to be disrespectful to everybody including my parents,you can't imagine how hurt my mum is by his actions but all what she does is yelling shouting and screaming until all our neighbours hear her but He doesn't seem to care a bit I believe that he goes through hard time and that he always underestimate himself in front of his peers that laugh at him all the time and maybe that's why he is rebellious towardss my parents and my mum specially because my dad doesn't do anything to change this situation as long as he stays out of trouble and out of issues My concern is that my mum had cancer twice and that she can still have it again and this time I don't think she will survive . Inside all of  these problems I m lost,Imheading to college this year and I can't leave my family in this situation I really need help pleaseeeee !

Hello Isabelle,

You sound like a very kind and loving person who cares deeply about your family. It does seem like they are in turmoil right now because of the behavior of your brother.

There may be some limits on what you can do before you leave for college, but you can try some things that might help.

Your mother's approach (yelling and screaming) is very ineffective, and your father's way of dealing with things is to withdraw (and perhaps deny there is a serious problem). So neither of your parents is handling this problem in a productive, effective way. I don't think that you can do much to change either your brother or your parents, but you can point them in the right direction. I think the right direction is for your parents to go to an experienced family counselor or therapist; someone who has dealt with families with problem teenagers before. Your parents need a place and a person where they can talk about the issues at home and get support and guidance. Both of your parents, with the help of a third-party can learn to change their tactics so they are able to provide controls and discipline for your brother. Your mother can learn to do more effective things other than to yell; your father can learn to use his authority to take some constructive action. If you can persuade them to go to a counselor before you leave for college, you will feel better about being away from home. Your brother, too, could benefit from seeing a therapist, and a good family counselor is likely to include him in the process and help him deal with the things that are bothering him.

If you have questions, please get back to me.


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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