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Never admit that things are going well

Yesterday, I posted that the week went smoothly. Cocky me. Come Saturday night and Tio and Kit are scrapping over what seemed insignificant and ended in tears from one boy and blind rage from the other. Everyone stomped off feeling slighted, misunderstood, and wronged.

This morning I sat both boys down with pad and paper and we made lists of what was bugging them about the other and what we might do about it. They each conceded that the other was mean, called them names, provoked them and was generally full of themselves. Tio insists that he can't stand the sight of Kit and Kit is sure that Tio spends a lot of time insulting him in front of his friends.

There was a fair amount of typical sibling stuff in the lists and one or two real problems. We talked through them and I suggested how to solve some of the grievances, while others would take a lot of work if they could be done at all. There was a lot of overlap, too. For instance, when asked what the other could do to make things work better, Kit suggested that Tio could "get a different address", while Tio felt his world would be improved if Kit "disappeared". I told Kit that if he pokes Tio too much it'll be like teasing a dog and one day he'll turn around and bite and we won't stop him. On the other hand, if Tio doesn't back off his worst behavior, I'll play the dog on Kit's behalf and he won't like it any better.

All in all, they can get along but choose not to. They'll tell me I'm wrong when they read this but I know they do care for each other. They've had some hard knocks in their lives and were pitted against each other at times, so there are real issues to resolve. In the end, I suspect growing out of it will be the biggest motivation to change.

In the meantime - "leave your brother alone!"