Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and welcome to this beautiful scenery, here at our YouTube channel. Got a letter from Tiffany:
"My two boys, 14 & 16 have a horrible habit of talking down to each other. [(That's kind of boy-speak.)] The younger one continues to state he hates his brother, and has been saying this ever since he was four years old.
The younger one is more cerebral, the older is more physical. How do I address their negative behavior toward one another? It's just no fun being around them, especially when we're all playing a family game together."
Here's the rule: you can't hear it, not hear about it. You don't want either one of them complaining about the other, but you never want to "hear" it. Because whoever fires the first shot, they both are in their rooms for the weekend (or something else you think is horrible that would drive them crazy).
"So the only rule around this house now is, when we're all together eating, doing family stuff - don't want to hear any of that. If I hear any of that, immediately, I don't care who started it, who finished it, who said something worse, who said something not so worse...that's it. The two of you are terminated for the weekend or you can't go to that party." Whatever it is, they both have to experience it. Now do you realize what that does? Right now, they're like this [holds up one finger on each hand and makes a motion to fight with each other and makes a bickering noise]. Telling them that if either one of them does [makes bickering noise again], that the two of them become one together and miss out on something is going to make them think as a couple. "'We' get screwed, so 'we' can't do that in front of them." It's going to change everything immediately because they then become the team against you guys.
So all you do is, you're playing a game, you're having a dinner [makes bickering noise], "Okay. The two of you are terminated for the weekend." That's it and then you go on with dinner. And then you say, "Oh, do I hear arguing? That'll be a second weekend if the arguing doesn't stop in 10 seconds. 9...8...7..." Little closed mouths. So it really requires you to be terse, clear and follow-through. You'll see an immediate change. Trust me on this one, it works like that [snaps fingers].
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, here on our YouTube channel, go do the right thing.