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Q & A: Help with My Brother?


Q: I have a personal question to ask about my brother. Your story of your brother kind of taught me, because I am sort of in the same situation.

My younger brother is acting up. He used to be this passionate kid. He worked harder than hard working. He would always be in competition with me. If I got an B in a class he had to get an A. He used to cry at the sight of even having less than an A-.

Now-a-days as he is in high school I have no idea where his motivation went. He is doing horrible in school. He is basically failing every class and does not care. He is also behaving bad too, from talking back to my mother to stealing the cars at my house for a joy ride. He is only 16 years old. I tried talking to him, but all he does is shake me off.

I do not know what to do. Do you have any input?

—Gabriel S.

Wow. That’s a tough situation.

I admire your determination to help your brother and as long as you continue to be a great student you will be an outstanding example for him.

But, real talk, you can’t change him (or anybody else for that matter.) You can influence a person, but he has to make the change. If you are only a year or two older than your brother then it might be hard to get him to listen to you or respect your advice.

The main thing you should do is help your brother find a mentor.

It should be someone that he will respect and admire; either an older college student or an adult that you and your mom respect could work.  If you come up empty then let me know and I’ll help you find someone to mentor him. Also, check out this website to find a mentoring program in your area:

Duncan Nugget® #208

Never let other people’s mess 
get in the way of your success.

Never give up on your brother, but don’t let him drag you down.

Your brother has to WANT to be successful and be willing to DO something to make it happen. While I was raising my brother, that was one of the hardest things for me to realize. I wanted him to be successful, but he had to want it for himself because at the end of the day…

It’s his life.

If your brother has great mentor, listens to his mentor, and wants to be successful then there’s an excellent chance that things will get better. It may take a while, but I’ve seen it happen many times, so keep your head up.


Got a question? Use this form to ask Al.


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