I fought my younger brother when he flat out told me that whatever he's doing at the moment is much more important than any problems that are not his and that it is too much of a hassle to even "open his room's door for me to pick up a few tools from his room" (said tools are mine, he borrowed it a week ago and is not using them at the moment).

At that day, he was making electric piano music for his Youtube channel, while my task was fixing the printer with a blown electric motor.

I got my grandmother to help settle the dispute, saying along the lines of: "Your younger brother should help older brother on ALL the chores and activities and such!" But his anger kept him from understanding the situation.

Earlier on the same day, I also got angry at him for not giving to me the phone, instead he uses it to make memes, as odd as it may seems. I told him to bring our phone ("our" as we share a single phone) to perform calculations on my Excel app on-the-fly to see where we could save money, while getting all of the desired items for everyone. We were celebrating my cousin's birthday, along with his older brother, younger sister and my grandmother, so budget is important here.

I am the oldest brother, aged 22. I am tasked to be a good and responsible adult to my grandmother of 70, my cousins of 5, 7 and 8, and my younger brother of 16. Not having parents doesn't help things, and the "ALL of the chores and activities and such" is I think just too much as my grandmother is literal on her advices. I only ask for the things that are within his capacity of doing; he's good at music and internet, not on electrical and electronics stuff.

The question is:

"How to convince my younger brother to stop what he's doing at the moment to help me and my grandmother at things we're supposed to do and explain to my family in such a way that everyone understands it and sticks to them, as to prevent things like this from happening again?"

What I've tried

Please understand the context of my situation here. I have already done the "ask your family about it" thing and it doesn't work as my grandmother already had tried. My cousin's mom is "always away" while their dad's currently serving time in jail. I got nothing in my experience to handle this and my friends have nothing on it too. So how could I handle this situation?

  • 1
    Welcome to IPS! could you possibly clarify your question down to a single question? else it may be considered too broad and might be closed Dec 10, 2019 at 17:07
  • I've edited out your first question as it is primarily opinion based and won't garner good answers. I've also reworded some of your sentences. Feel free to edit your question if I misunderstood the meaning behind those sentences. Dec 10, 2019 at 17:19
  • I'm not sure what is meant by the last question - what is "all of that new knowledge" that you need to explain?
    – Em C
    Dec 10, 2019 at 18:02
  • I edited my questions to concise yet still has the relevant information that defines the problem at hand. Also, thanks for the input so far! This is my first time doing these sorts of things and it brings relief to me and my family that people do care on these sorts of things. Much love! Also, my grandmother IS 69 years old but kept the 70 as I later realized that "69" means something that may be outside of context to my problem yet may take precedence to it, and as such, may be inappropriate and vulgar to this forum. Dec 10, 2019 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Here is what worked for my brother and I (done by my parents when we were that old) and what I think would be nice additions to it.

What it boils down to is that he needs to understand that he has certain duties and responsibilities, especially now that he is reaching an older age (my brother and I got increased freedom with age but also more responsibilities, which is only fair and normal). And he needs to understand that not owning these will have results that negatively affect him.

How and to what extent is up to you and your grandma.

At first, it may seem wrong to 'force' him to do certain chores, but it isn't. The most important part at the start is structure. My parents lacked structure and it irked me, once the chores and responsibilities got more structure, I accepted them more quickly.

What this means is to give him a set of chores that are his responsibility. Give him some freedom in how to handle them, but make clear what needs to happen and when. Daily, weekly, to what extent and so on. It helped me to know what the things were I had to do on any given day. It meant I could choose when to do them that day, and group them or split them up as I wanted.

If he does not own his responsibility, punish him. Don't get angry, don't put blame on him or anything like that. Avoid as much the negativity as you can, simply make it a cause and effect thing. "You did not do x now you bear consequence y". If my brother or I did not do our chores and responsibilities we were punished. And our parents knew how to punish us. No games. No internet. No consoles. In short, if we were too busy gaming to do our chores, we lost our 'right' to game for x time. If we were too busy reading comics, we lost comics for x time. And so on.

Over time this will get better though, it is only at the start you need to enforce this. After a while, your brother will get the idea that you are all working together and everybody has their own chores and responsibilities. And then these kinds of things move in a more natural flow.

Lastly, we never had an open-door policy, and I am personally against them. The caveat is though that if my parents or brother needed something from my room, they simply had to knock and I would give it to them. Every teenager has a right to their privacy, but if he borrowed your tools and you need them, he needs to give them to you. Period. It does not matter what he is doing at that time, it was his own decision to not return them earlier, and now he needs to bear the consequences for that.

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