My little brother is 7 years old, and he along with two other kids were on our trampoline out back. The girl who was with them is 8 years old and told my brother to push the other boy off the trampoline. I didn't see it myself, but my brother admitted to attempting grabbing him and pushing him off.

I was trimming the sides of my house with a weed wacker and I saw my brother and the girl get off the trampoline saying they were going to practice their skating, and the other boy's dad came by to take him inside, and that is when the kid explained what happened.

I overheard it and got my brother and took him inside to our Mom. I explained what happened to my Mom and my brother started crying and making excuses, my brother said he was crying and stuff because I "yelled at him" (which I didn't) and then my Mom turns on me. My mom finishes her very short lecture on us both and tells my brother to go say sorry. My brother then just sits on the floor, continues to cry, and does not move (I imagine he didn't want to apologize because he was ashamed and embarrassed that he would have to face the kid AND his Dad).

Eventually, I go back outside to finish the yard work and the boy and his Dad are gone. So I go inside to tell my Mom and Brother, and my Mom just lets my brother go. She let him go outside again to go play with the same girl who told him to push the boy OFF the trampoline. This upset me very much, not just that my brother basically got off scotch free, but my Mom basically did nothing to get my brother to fix the situation.

If I were to do something like that when I was his age I would have been grounded for at least a week. Just this whole ordeal bothers me, and I'm disappointed in both my brother and how my Mom handled. I want to address her on this but I do not know how.

  • There are some things I'd like to understand before I answer. How old are you? Have you always been reliable and truthful with your mother? Do you and your brother get along? Does your brother have a history of hitting or bullying? Does that little girl he was playing have a reputation as a bully?
    – WRX
    May 22, 2017 at 12:09

3 Answers 3


I'm a big brother who is also a father of 3 girls. Based on my experience on both ends I will start with saying, no parent treats every kid the exact same. And in my life as a kid and as a parent I have seen parents get more lax in all areas as time goes on. So, my first response to you is, don't compare.

My second piece of advice is that you should approach this problem with a 'right' perspective. What I mean is, what topic is it good and right for you to address and be concerned about. My answer is, you should be concerned about the growth and maturation of your little brother.

I don't think you should spend too much energy trying to get your mother to do certain things or be a certain way. However, if you concetrate your efforts and arguments on the well-being of your brother and the future adult he will become, you may get the results you seek.

If this were me, I would do these things in this order:

1) Prepare to be the scapegoat for my mother and my brother. Chances are both will react poorly to the seemingly poor decisions they made.

2) Think about exactly what I want to say and HOW I plan to say it. eg. "Mom, I'm concerned about Bobby. I think he made a poor decision the other day that might have hurt someone and I know he's a good kid and that he felt bad about what happened. However, someone could have been hurt badly and I would like you or you and I to explain to him how important it is to treat others with respect and to play safe."

3) Only after discussing with your Mom and letting her take the lead (she is the parent) follow up as a big brother giving advice. Don't try to control or force your little brother to concede anything. By gently letting him know the danger of what he did, maybe stating how bad you'd feel if you sent a kid to the hospital - that way you are the focus and not him - you can address the issue without causing an outburst.

I'm glad you posted and that you want to take some responsibility for your family to help them. It is not an easy road (making things better, correcting or helping others), but continue to seek advice, proceed in a humble manner, and speak the truth lovingly. Good things can happen when you want to do the right thing in the right way!


It seems like you're disappointed because your brother didn't get punished for his behaviour. I'm not sure if that's because you feel it's unfair (to you), or because you think that punishment would have been beneficial in teaching him a lesson.

In either case, it seems that a lesson has been learned. You mentioned that your brother "started crying" and "was ashamed and embarrassed". It sounds like he is remorseful and understands that what he did was wrong. It appears to me that he is unlikely to do anything similar again, so it appears that in at least some sense, "justice has been served."

My advice would be to take a cue from your mother, and leave it alone. She has probably recognized what I said in the previous paragraph, and doesn't feel that any further action is necessary.

  • 1
    I have to disagree. Seems like the OP is concerned because this was violent behavior with, potentially, dangerous consequences, which the younger sibling just learned has no ramifications because he threw a fit and mom caved in. I think OP should raise the concerns about what he saw, and what might have happened, but fortunately, did not, with mom, from that point of view. May 24, 2017 at 17:24

As the youngest in my family & now a parent I can tell you this from my own experience & life. YOU have a tremendous opportunity to be a major influence to your brother. So if you think he was out of line, then tell him. You don't need to parent him. I don't mean it in that way, but I really respected my older siblings & looked up to them, even when I was busy trying to act like I didn't. Knowing I did or didn't have their approval was huge to me. I would say that even though I had a mom that was home, and around all the time, my siblings were at least as influential in my growth as a person as she was.

I am sorry your mom got on you about any of that. It is appropriate for you to alert her if he is having issues with other children while outside. I can tell you as a mom myself, I am certain I have made mistakes in assessing situations & I likely will again.

So you don't have to have her ground him, yell at him, make him go say sorry. You don't have to try to make him do those things either. You can literally just tell him it's wrong, that you are very disappointed to see him act like that & leave it be. In fact, he said you were "yelling at him". I've seen my own kids say this when they are just being told something. I think to some kids, anyone reprimanding them verbally for behavior is categorized as "yelling" even though there was no tone or volume involved. A good example would be my son (also 7 by chance) was running in an indoor play place & someone working there told him to walk. They just said it. I heard it. He comes to where I am to get his sibling & as they are walking away he says "Don't run or they will yell at you. I already got yelled at for it". No he didn't. He took it that way though. I am not sure that most 7 year olds understand that yelling is a volume issue & it's not a simple verbal correction.

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