“I Don’t Think Our Relationship Can Recover From This”: Mom Sends Son Away After He Exposes Sister’s Secret To Entire School

Teasing among siblings is normal. But once it crosses into bullying, parents must intervene. The post "I Don't Think Our Relationship Can Recover From This": Mom Sends Son Away After He Exposes Sister's Secret To Entire School first appeared on Bored Panda.

“I Don’t Think Our Relationship Can Recover From This”: Mom Sends Son Away After He Exposes Sister’s Secret To Entire School

Parenting involves making many tough decisions. And unfortunately, it seems like these choices only become more and more challenging up until a child’s 18th birthday. 

One mother recently detailed on the “Am I the [Jerk]?” subreddit her struggle in deciding how to punish her teenage son for traumatizing his younger sister. So below, you’ll find the full, heartbreaking story, as well as some of the replies concerned readers have shared. 

This mother’s teenage son revealed a traumatizing secret about his sister to all of his friends

Image credits: Kate Williams ( not the actual photo)

Now, she’s wondering if sending him to live with her parents is an appropriate punishment

Image credits: Jhoondias ( not the actual photo)

Image credits: Baylee Gramling ( not the actual photo)

Later, the mother noted that she hasn’t been in contact with her son

Some harmless teasing among siblings is perfectly normal

Image credits: Ron Lach ( not the actual photo)

Siblings are known for teasing one another. They might come up with less-than-flattering nicknames or poke fun at each other when playing games, and there’s usually nothing for parents to worry about. In fact, teasing can even be a way for siblings to strengthen bonds. But most brothers and sisters also understand that only they are allowed to do the teasing. If anyone else in the world tries to pick on their sibling, they might aggressively defend them and protect their family member. So it’s heartbreaking to hear that this brother actually encouraged terrible treatment of his sister. There is a significant difference between harmless sibling teasing, such as playing small pranks on one another, and actual bullying.

Bullying is an extremely serious concern for children of all ages, but especially for teenagers. StopBullying.gov notes that victims of bullying may experience “depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.” Kids who are bullied are also likely to miss, skip or drop out of school, and are more likely to retaliate with violence such as school shootings. But often, those who are bullied take out their fear and sadness on themselves, often leading to self-harming behaviors, and sometimes even suicide. Victims of bullying are between 2 and 9 times more likely to consider suicide, and over 14% of all high school students have considered ending their lives. 

But once teasing turns into bullying, parents should be quick to intervene

So how do parents know when one child’s teasing has crossed into dangerous, bullying territory? According to Kim Blackham, LMFT, siblings are often able to get away with behavior that would not be acceptable among peers, in school for example. But it’s important that home is a safe and accepting place for everyone, especially those who experience any form of bullying outside of the home. “Sometimes it’s hard to see the real consequence of teasing,” Blackham told She Knows. “When being teased, most people will laugh it off or go along with the joke so as to not be further embarrassed by it. In reality, those comments may be leaving scars that exist for a lifetime.”

So it’s important for parents to prioritize protecting their children and nurturing a safe and empathetic home environment. Katie Hurley, LCSW, also says that it’s important for parents to try to get to the bottom of where their children’s teasing behavior is coming from. “Nine times out of 10, there is some feeling lurking beneath the teasing, and jealousy is often the cause,” Hurley told She Knows. “When parents take the time to process these feelings with the kids, they teach kids how to interact in a more adaptive manner so that they don’t approach new friendships in the same way.”

It’s important for parents to foster a safe and accepting home environment

Image credits: Gustavo Fring ( not the actual photo)

Amy McCready, author of the parenting guide If I Have to Tell You One More Time, told TODAY that it’s often difficult for parents to acknowledge that there is bullying taking place in their home, but it’s an important first step in keeping their kids safe. McCready also explains that parents might unknowingly contributing to the problem, by fostering a victim-and-aggressor mentality between their children. She recommends teaching the bullied child powerful words, such as, “Stop now!” And the bully should always have to make it right with an act of kindness, rather than a simple, “I’m sorry.” Parents can provide constructive and safe ways for their children to let out their pent-up energy, such as playing sports, and she notes that it can be helpful to let them weigh in on family decisions. 

“The more you can put the responsibility in their hands to come up with a solution, the more they’re going to buy into it and the more invested they’re going to be,” McCready says. We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this mother is making the right decision by sending her son away? Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing bullying, look no further than right here

Readers warned the mother that sending her son away permanently might be a mistake, noting that he needs his parents right now too

The post "I Don't Think Our Relationship Can Recover From This": Mom Sends Son Away After He Exposes Sister's Secret To Entire School first appeared on Bored Panda.