Brief summary about myself. I work in IT and often enough people ask me to help them with their IT related issues, most often it's someone from the family or relatives. In my every day work I do a lot of tech related things, which means some things to me seem super obvious or super easy to do, when for some people they're not. consciously of course I know that, but I assume that the problem that I have is influenced by my subconscious. There are times that I'm easily "triggered" by people not being able to understand what I'm telling them or how to do certain IT related things. I'm trying to work on my behaviour and I think it's much better than before, since I'm catching myself a lot of times not saying something, when I would have before and things like that.

This case is a bit different. I have a little brother that's 5 years old, he comes sometimes on the weekend and I really enjoy spending time with him, since he's a little fun kid and he really loves playing computer games, he doesn't have a computer himself, so being able to play at my home is like a birthday to him. Recently a couple of times I've noticed that I'm getting angry at him for things he does not understand. I'm not talkin about any kind of physical threats or whatever, just that my attitude kinda changes for some reason, last couple of times I managed to not get angry, but I still feel that something is not right and I'm afraid, even though he's a kid, he feels it too.

He plays racing games on my computer or some other games for kid and usually he fails, since he's absolutely new to the computer and is a little kid and when I explain to him what to do, show him what to do multiple times, even though I do not get angry I'm still somehow not okay, I start to be distant or cold or whatever the word is to describe that behaviour. Afterwards it's still okay, we have fun etc. when he's not playing and it's like it never happened, because he also forgets stuff, since he's a kid, but when he leaves, I feel kinda gulity and I don't want to put him in a position that he's in the environment where he can't make a mistake, because that's definitely not going to help him. I know that the problem is only in me, him being a kid has nothing to do with my issues.

My question is, how do I show him that it's okay to make mistakes without looking angry/frustrated or expressing anger or frustration at him?

P.S. If you can recommend any books on a similar subject or issues that would be even more great, thanks.

  • 1
    This question is focusing on an intrapersonal change, not an interpersonal change. You are asking for advice to change yourself, but this site is focused on how to interact with others. Can you re-word your question to focus on interacting with your little brother, rather than changing yourself, because we don't know you well enough to advise you accurately on that. Thanks!
    – ElizB
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 1:17
  • 1
    @ElizB tbh these definitions are too broad for me and since English is not my 1st language, I find it not easy to understand what specifically I need to change. If you don't mind proposing and edit, then I'm all for it.
    – Newcomer
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 7:28
  • Questions that would be answered here would be questions like "How can I show my brother that he did something wrong in the game, without seeming angry?" or "How can I after I snapped at my brother show him that I did not mean it, and make sure he does not feel bad". "How do I change my behaviour?" has nothing to do with interactions with other people (which is what this site is about).
    – Lot
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 9:20
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it regards intrapersonal skill, not interpersonel skill.
    – breversa
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 9:22
  • @Lot thanks, I edited.
    – Newcomer
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


The most important thing that will help you keep a possitive attitude is to realise the level of skill that is expected of him and what exactly you can currently teach him.

A 5 year old kid that only plays on a computer on a weekend every once in a while is probably not going to learn how to play racing games properly. Which is perfectly fine!

Instead of getting frustrated at him for releasing the accelerate button on a straight part, or constantly oversteering which causes him to finish dead last each time. Think about what little steps of improvement he's making in the "getting used to doing something on a PC" skill.

Once you figure out what he is capable of, try to encourage him each time to just take a tiny step further. Here's some steps I can think of for a racing game on what to focus on:

  • learn what the buttons do: how to accelerate, how to steer left and right
  • try to finish a race
  • finish a race without getting stuck at one of the walls, or driving way off the track
  • finish a race before the slowest PC player
  • use a powerup correctly (thinking of mario cart for example where he should throw a red shell when there's an oponent in front of him)
  • use a powerup without releasing the accelerate button
  • ...

I do want to point out here that figuring out what skill a kid is capable of is really hard to do if you only see them once in a while. A little trick I use myself is to check what exactly they're enthousiastic about and just go along with that.

For example, my nephew (also around 5 years old) was playing around with a mario kart game on his handheld console. He was sitting next to me and telling me things like "oh look, I got this powerup now" then released the accelerate to have his thumb free to press that powerup button. So my reasoning was, ok great he just learned what those powerups are and what to do with them. I'm not going to teach him he shouldn't let go of the other button at this stage. Instead let him get used to the "using powerups" step first.

Doing so keeps your own frustration in check and makes it natural to just keep their enthusiasm up. Like you said, just being there with you and being able to toy around on a computer are what's important to him. Learning to drive properly and being able to win races isn't something you expect of someone that is barely able to write his own name right?

  • 2
    almost the last sentence actually made me realize that that's the most important thing, just to spend time together and for him to have fun, thanks for your answer.
    – Newcomer
    Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 15:34
  • I like that answer. I would also have a talk with him, asking if he noticed the change in your behaviour. You can then explain why that is and that he is not to blame for it, that you're working on it and will (with his help?) change. He could say "You remember I'm 5, right?" when he notices. Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 14:54
  • @Cdr.Powell lol :) That would be funny. We actually played yesterday and it was all good, without any issues at all, he had a great time.
    – Newcomer
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 15:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.