Abuse between siblings with abusive behaviors, whether physical, emotional or sexual from one brother to another. Physical abuse between siblings can range from mild to severe attacks, such as pushing or even using knives, scissors, etc.
Why does my brother hit me? Often parents do not see abuse as such, since as a social norm we expect there to be fights and certain aggressions between siblings. Therefore, parents do not usually see sibling abuse as a problem until serious damage occurs. In addition to direct hazards, abuse can cause all kinds of long-term problems in adulthood. In this Transkerja.com article, we tell you some of the causes of sibling violence and what you can do if your brother hits you.
Why my brother hates me and treats me badlyAll children at some point in their lives have quarreled with their siblings and have had tantrums, but a key difference between this and abuse between siblings is that, if one child is always the victim and the other is always the aggressor, it is about of a situation of abuse.
Some possible signs of sibling abuse are:
- One of the brothers always avoids the other
- One of the siblings changes their behavior, sleep patterns, eating habits or has nightmares.
- The children's roles are rigid; one is the aggressor and the other the victim.
- The violence between siblings increases progressively.
Why my brother hits me: risk factorsMore research on the subject is needed to know exactly how and why sibling abuse occurs. Experts think there are a number of risk factors:
- The parents are not much at home
- The parents are very involved in the lives of their children or are emotionally distant
- Parents accept rivalry between siblings and fights as part of family life, instead of working on it to minimize them.
- Parents have not taught their children to handle conflicts properly from the beginning.
- Parents do not stop children when they are being violent; instead, they assume that it has been an accident, or a fight between the two or simply a child's play.
- Parents increase competition among children:
- Mentioning that they have a favorite
- Comparing children
- Tagging the children
- Children are exposed to violence either in their family (domestic violence), in the media or among their classmates
Brothers who fight: what to doIf your family tends to have competitive disagreements, it is important to minimize rivalry and envy between siblings by emphasizing the similarities between them and avoiding accentuating differences. Sensitive and positive sibling behavior should be rewarded and encouraged. Parents, thus reducing the potential for abuse between siblings, should reinforce positive interactions. There must be some basic rules such as not hitting, insulting, belittling, mocking and threatening.
Something fundamental is also that there is good parent-child communication; it may be good for parents to dedicate individual time to each of the siblings when they have been alone together.
How to treat sibling fightsOnce the fight between brothers has begun, we must intervene soon to avoid escalation of the conflict. As a parent, you must allow each child to say what the perception of the other is until they fully understand it. The goal is to get an expression of each child's feelings, whenever possible, what does each child want to do about the problem? Help them forge a compromise. If they cannot agree, give those 10 minutes to look for alternatives and build a commitment.
It is important that you follow up on a daily basis and remind them to express their feelings among themselves when they start to get angry. It is not about solving the problem for them, but about helping, they remember how problems should be resolved. Make children equally responsible when the clearly established basic rules are broken. To learn how to manage sibling fights, teach your children how to compromise, respect each other and divide things fairly. It is about providing them with the necessary tools to avoid violence and showing them the confidence that they can solve it alone.
What can I do if my brother hits me?
- Seek help. Talk to your parents or primary caregivers: tell them what is happening; let them know that you do not perceive your brother's abusive behaviors as a simple rivalry but as aggression. Ask them about the solutions you have thought about to solve the problem and ask them for feedback and support.
If you do not get the expected support from your parents go to friends or other family members, ask them for advice, if they know any professional in case you think you need it, etc.
- Seek professional help. Going to therapy with a trained psychotherapist can help you minimize the long-term effects of sibling violence. In the sessions, you must be honest and tell him everything that has happened and how you have felt. It would be very positive if the whole family went to therapy, but in many cases, this is not possible. In any case, psychotherapy will empower you to face these types of situations by providing you with strategies and tools that you should practice.
- Try talking to your brother. Try to find out why the aggressions and let him know how you feel and that you perceive his behavior as abusive, not how simple rivalry and that, therefore, you are looking for a way to stop him. Meanwhile, as a self-defense strategy, you should try to identify those situations that can trigger abusive behavior by your brother to flee or stop before there is an escalation in the conflict. This is a short-term solution while mobilizing the necessary tools to change the situation.