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Ask Rene: My Teens HATE Each Other! (VIDEO)

Dear Rene:

I know you have older kids so I’m hoping you can help me. I have two children; Carson is my 16-year-old boy and Calley is my 14-year-old girl and they HATE each other! Rene, it is literally tearing me apart inside.

I overheard Calley talking to her best friend the other day about how she wished she was an only child because everything about her brother irritates her. Even after her friend pointed out the great things about Carson (and there are quite a few), Calley wasn’t having it.

Carson’s not innocent either as I hear him talking badly about his kid sister too. Recently we went out of town; I thought it would be nice to spend some time together as a family and Carson and Calley RUINED it. They bickered constantly in the backseat of the car about absolutely nothing. By the time we got home I was exhausted.

Rene, I just don’t know how to fix this, to make it better.. Can you help?

Frustrated Mother

Dear FM:

Oh boy.. There’s good and bad news here. I think you know the good news; this is not a unique problem, heck you may have fought with your own siblings growing up, in fact, I’ll bet you did. The bad news (and it’s really not that bad) is trying to figure out how to get these kids through the next several years without killing them or giving you multiple anxiety attacks.

Pop in your ear buds and watch my video response to your question and I’m opening it up (as we always do) to GEMnation for their take on how to solve the problem. And speaking of problems, don’t forget; if you have one you’d like me to tackle, click here and fire away!

More from GEM:

Thanks Mom.. For THIS!

The GEM Debate: Is Abstinence Really Realistic?

Hey Mom! How About You Just.Say.No?


  1. Sandy Seale

    May 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Well once again Rene you hit the nail on the head. I knew what I would say but then you said it for me 🙂 And yes this is a universal problem…she & her kids are not unique to it. I had three daughters spread out in age. They waffled between hating each other & being best friends….still do at times & they’re all grown. Thats the nature of the beast & like you said the earliest experiences to learning how to cope with others. If mom gets in the middle then she’s probably just going to exacerbate the problem as well as drive herself crazy. Inevitably she will be accused of taking sides even if she thinks she’s being impartial…..and it will probably just cause the kids to dig in more. And I agree too that a few more years they will be friends….the brother will begin to act more protective of his little sister as she begins to date, etc. I had a little brother & for the most part we got along ok….he was just a little pest & in my space all the time. But there were definitely times I wished I was an only child. I’m predicting that each year from here out will get a little better and by the time they are grown will be good if not great friends. Although I know she is wanting an instant fix….it ain’t gonna happen LOL Be patient…..give them space…..and as long as no blood flows let, them learn to work it out. Words to live by: You can’t always control what happens but you can control how you let it effect you. Oprah Winfrey 🙂

  2. Dave M

    May 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    My older brother and I were always at it. In fact, we bickered and he beat me senseless nearly every week. He was 6’4″ already in high school. I . . . well, I wasn’t. (Mom once caught him putting me in a headlock ’til I passed out. I woke up to see her on his back beating on him. He never did it again! But that’s the worst it ever got)
    But as much as we bickered, fought, hit, what have you, we still took care of each other. Same with me and my younger brother. You’d be surprised how if someone comes between your kids or hurts the other how quickly they’ll come to the defense. I had that happen with my brother, and he wailed on me when we got home that same day.
    But it never remained that way, it was probably just hormones and testosterone running wild. Hell, I started a band with my younger brother. My older brother and I don’t fight at all now.
    That doesn’t mean my father didn’t once warn my brother “you know, one day he’s going wait around the corner for you with a baseball bat and I won’t punish him when he knocks you senseless with it!” I never did . . . but it slowed my brother down and made him think.
    I face this with my four kids. The twins fight like . . . well, brothers. But you’ll notice if anything comes between them they band together – even if it’s me. So as hard as it is, just make sure that they don’t hurt each other, much like my brother and I did, and they’ll come through stronger. But they have to live with their decisions and face their problems. I only step in when I have to . . . Rene’s dead on with this one.

  3. Amy

    October 24, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I do not get in the middle when it is physical unless I think they are seriously going to hurt one another but am I supposed to stay out of it if they are saying terrible things to each other about their looks or their character, like calling the other lazy or fat or stupid, just tearing each other down? It’s the way they talk to each other that tears me apart.

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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