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Help for My Teenage Brother

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My brother is 18 years old, has no interest in studies and is trapped in company of bad people. He became disobedient of my parents and steals money and other things from home.

We are feeling so helpless to tackle this issue. Even my parents never deal with him with strictness, rather they are still polite with him when he disobeys. We are trying our best to compromise with him but the situation is getting worse day by day.

I need your opinion on this issue. Please guide us in how should we deal with him, my parents will never be strict with him as they love him a lot. (From Pakistan)

Help for My Teenage Brother

Answered by on -


There are different ways to love a child. What we know from all the research is that love and limits go together. It isn’t a matter of being strict — it is a matter of helping your brother develop self-control and respect. Your parents not helping him develop these essential skills is doing him a disservice — they are actually making things worse by not having more guidelines and consequences.

Your family needs some outside help. I would talk to people in your medical community to see if they can guide you to a therapist or clergy who may be able to help your family learn the proper way to deal with your brother. If he is 18 and living at home then clear strategies about penalties for his behavior — and the family rallying together to support these changes — would be important.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Help for My Teenage Brother

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Help for My Teenage Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.