They Never Learn

What is it about advice given to or by family?  We never listen and nobody ever listens to us.  It doesn’t matter how many times we have dealt with the same issue or how sage the advice is, it is always in one ear and out the other.  I am having the same issues with my little brother.

Let me start off by saying that my brother is a wonderful guy.  He may not act like it all the time but he is a good one.  He may not be up to par for maturity but honestly, what guy really is?  He is a honor student and an athlete.  He has always been pretty good about doing the right thing.  That is, up until recently.

He is a good looking kid but never had a whole lot of self-esteem so he has never had to much luck with the ladies.  In that aspect he definitely reminds me of my younger self.  I sit back and watch him make the same mistakes that I did at his age and it really gets to me.  None of us ever listened to our parents but the wise older brother is different isn’t it?  Apparently not.  Maybe it is the age difference ( 13 years) or maybe he just doesn’t take me seriously.  I don’t really know.

I remember during my youth, while I was making these same mistakes, I would get so annoyed when my father would warn me about the inevitable bad ending that would come from my situation that is oh so similar to the one my brother is in.  I definitely don’t want him to think that way about me.  Even if I am right in the same exact way that my father was right.

I used to think that when he got old enough that I would have problem being the cool older brother that he would want to hang out with and bring his friends around.  The truth of the matter is, it is harder than it seems.  I was 13 years old the day he was born and although he is on the brink of manhood, I still see the little boy whose diapers I helped change.  I can’t seem to get past it either.

He comes over and we play video games or we joke around but when it comes down to it, I have a really hard time being his buddy.  I feel like we are friends and I enjoy that but I cannot sit by and be his alibi or cheer him on when he disrespects our father.  We have the best dad that anyone could ask for and he doesn’t deserve what he gets put through on a daily basis.  What it boils down to is, since I am a father now too, I feel like I cannot be the cool brother anymore.  I mean, it takes a village right?  What would you all do in my situation?

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One Response to “They Never Learn”

  1. starflower1965 says:

    I think you have to keep setting the right example by the way you live your life and the way you treat others. Our kids and our younger siblings learn from example so much better than they do from us *telling* them our experiences. For some reason we all seem to learn things the hard way even though we know what we are doing is wrong. I know to this day, (I will be 47 on July 3rd) that I still make stupid mistakes and sometimes I even know I am making it as it’s happening, but somehow I know I must go through it to learn my lesson.

    So continue being a friend to your brother by listening and even offering advice, but most importantly, provide a soft place for him to fall when he screws up. In other words, let him know you love him unconditionally and that he has a place to turn even when he screws up. And continue to lead by example. There is no better teacher than one who doesn’t preach, but shows us how to behave and how to live our life by setting the right example!

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