How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

My Wife Just Said… #319

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I honestly don’t know what to do anymore. Our three-year-old pushes our seven-year-olds buttons constantly. That wears on us, the tiredest parents, and then we in turn get set off.

Does anyone have any advice on how to teach two boys, with very different personalities, to love and respect each other? It’s reached levels that would make Buddhist Monks throw their hands up in desperation in the middle of meditation. Royal guards in front of Buckingham Palace would shrug and walk away. I just don’t know what to do.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “My Wife Just Said… #319”

  1. Jayson Hill says:

    I have 4 children, ages 11(the only girl), and three voys aged 9, 4 and 3. The boys are constantly either on each others nerves or pushing limits and boundaries in new and more exasperrating ways each day. I am repeatedly telling them to stop or leave each other be or words to that effect. Then one day, after telling my 4 year old boy not to do something, my 9 year old son did the same thing. Right after that the 4 year old mimic did it again.

    I stopped my 9 year old and told him that the thing he was doing was dangerous and that he had to be careful because, even though his little brothers might pester him and get on his nerves his brothers look up to him and want to be as strong and independant as he already is. That he had to set the example that they would follow because it was his leadership they wanted as well as his friendship. He got the message and has been much better with them, which in turn has made them better with him.

    Also the idea that if you have a toy that you don’t want your younger sibling playing with, don’t play with it right in front of them to tease them with it was a bit of an eye opener. Just for him though, not expecting that it is the same way with your boys.

    Most of all I find talking to them as equals, to you and each other, does as world of good. You don’t want to punish them, but you will, and they don’t want to be punished, which they will, so how about we all play nice and enjoy ourselves rather than bicker amongst ourselves?

    Hope this helps. Best of luck. Love your blog and your tumblr.

    Jay Hill

  2. sam-c says:

    Same. Our 3 year old pushes our 8 year old’s buttons all the time. the 8 year old is a gentle soul and never fights back (depending on the pain level from the hair pulling or pinching, just cries) and in the cases of general annoyances, just yells at his little brother. Ie, when his little brother kept taking away his homework pencil (while in use) and throwing it across the room…..
    we intervene of course, talk to little brother and have time outs, but it will just happen again the next day. He’s a terror sometimes. But not always of course, and at least once a day, big brother says “I love that little guy.” awwww…. just patiently waiting for the day that the little brother grows out of it……??????

  3. Amy says:

    Don’t give up, I promise it will get better! My boys are now 20 and 25. They are as different as night and day. And in those single digit years it was really trying while they each were becoming their own little person. It reminds me of trying to make a really good stew… the potatoes are good and the beef is good, but they are very different on their own. What makes them good together is your seasoning you keep adding in. You keep reminding them that they will always have each other in life, and to watch out for each other. They are a team. As they get older, you can begin to teach them the idea of looking at the other sibling’s differences as something that is interesting and to be supported. Every time you sit them down and remind them that your greatest hope is for them to love each other and watch out for each other, its like you are adding another dash of salt to your lovely stew. It needs to simmer for a few years. But it will turn out delicious, I promise! Especially if they know the cook believes in it!

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