"Dear Carol, how can I help my brother?"
My little brother is everything to me. I love him so much, but he is rude to the family. I tried to teach him to be good, but he won't change. He's only 7, and I just want him to be the brother I've always wanted.
–Brother's Bad Behavior
Dear Brother's Bad Behavior,
Most 7-year-olds are not model citizens. In fact, parents might worry about a boy who was a little angel 24/7. That said, your brother does need to act civil. Try positive reinforcement. Praise him when he is thoughtful rather than giving him extra attention when he misbehaves (and bring the rest of the family in on this too). You can say, "Thanks for helping me clean up" or "That was nice of you to compliment Dad on dinner." And keep up your own good manners. (If he says, "Shut up!" say, "That's not polite," rather than, "You shut up!").
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