Brothers Fighting


Ask Rene:
How Can I Tame This Sibling Rivalry?


Hi Rene,

Love the site – and all your great advice to everyone! I wonder if you could help me with my dilemma.

I have two boys; Carl aged 14 and Brad aged 16. They’re good kids on their own but there’s one big problem for me – the two of them argue and fight all the time. And we’re not just talking small disagreements – I literally can’t leave the two of them in the same room together of there will be fistfights and filthy language.

It’s extremely upsetting for their father and me, as we can never do anything as a family. Family dinners, vacations and events all end the same way with Carl and Brad literally at each other’s throats.

I truly believe the two of them actually hate each other and it breaks my heart.

I’d love to hear your take – and what I can do to keep the peace

Yours truly,

Sharon, Ohio



Hey Sharon:

As nerve-racking as this no doubt is I really think this is just a phase the boys are going though. I have a younger sister and when we were about Carl and Brad’s ages we fought like there was no tomorrow, mostly over the most ridiculous stuff! Even though this will pass the tough part will be keeping them from destroying your house and killing each other while they grow out of it. So let’s come up with some practical tips.


1. Minimize Their Contact With Each Other

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I know this sounds extreme and you might be thinking it’s impossible seeing as they live under the same roof. But that close proximity is precisely when nerves get the most frayed. So after school and before meals when they are tired and cranky, make sure they have some time alone or more importantly, apart from each other. Post dinner let’s hope the tryptophan kicks in and they’re too tired to bicker.