Kids! Ask Master Mom – Sibling Conflict


Kids Ask Master Mom: How do I get my brother to stop hitting me?

Amanda:              Hey everybody, Master mom Amanda Olson here, and I’m about to go on WJHL News Channel 11 daytime tri-cities for their talk show, which is always a lot of fun. Today kicks off the kids ask master mom series, and their question, or well, it is there because there’s more than one that asks this question.

It is a question that’s as old as time, all right. So how do I get my brother to stop hitting me? Now that was, I have a little box here at the Olson’s martial arts, where you can anonymously put in your questions, or you can let me respond to you personally if you like. And I’ve started letting the kids well, they kind of started doing out on their own, it was really kind of cute. I started getting some funny questions, and then some serious ones, and this is one of those.

So I got this in my box; how do you get your brother to stop hitting you? Well, there’s a lot that goes into that, because you need some background. Is this a big brother? Is this a little brother? Is this something that’s happening every day? Is it happening when no one else is watching? Is it happening at school? Is it just every once in a while? It’s just really kind of, a lot of extra information needs to be put in to really get to the correct solution. However, kids, I’m going to give you some advice today on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Now it could be a cousin or a best friend or something like that, that’s just taking things a little too far, and they think it’s fun. And it’s not for you, because you’re the one that’s getting hurt or getting hit. I remember one time playing in a swimming pool, and somebody thought it was a lot of fun dunking me underwater. They were having a great time, but I was getting to where I couldn’t catch my breath, and I was swallowing water, and I was getting afraid.

And they thought it was fun, but I did not think it was fun. And so I actually had to use my strong voice when I got the opportunity, to just say stop, you are really hurting me, and you’re making me upset. And I was really surprised at the reaction of the person because they were kind of like surprised. Surprised that what they were doing wasn’t fun for me, and they were really sorry. So sometimes it’s just a matter of using your strong voice and speaking out like that, and that would be one of my first things for you to do, kids.

If somebody is hitting you or especially a brother, somebody that you’re going to be living with for a while. Is to first let them know that this is really bothering you, and it really hurts, and you really wish they would stop doing it. If you keep crying or you fight back, and you run and scream and tell mom and dad, and all that, it’s not really something’s going to stop for you. It’s something that actually might even spur your brother to do it more because he thinks it’s funny, all right.

He thinks it’s funny that you get upset, and you’re giving him the reaction that he wants. And if you can find it in you to not get crying and hitting back and getting, acting out like that. And you can stop, and you can say, you are really hurting me, this is bothering me, please stop and see if that works, that would be my first thing.

Now sometimes that doesn’t work, sometimes it’s not about them having fun, sometimes they really just kind of enjoy being mean or somebody’s being mean to them, and so they’re taking it out on you, that’s another level. But here, kids again, this is for the kids. What I want you to do if you’ve told them to stop and they don’t, don’t go crying to your mom. Don’t go running and screaming.

Billy’s hitting me; he won’t stop. Because then we all know what kind of happens, and this is what we parents do. One kid comes in and starts yelling and telling on the other one, and then we just put them both in time out, or they both get in trouble. Or both kids are at fault, and it really doesn’t solve the situation. Now your brother’s mad at you because you tattled, and now he’s in trouble. So it kind of can make the situation worse.

So what I want you to do, what I want you to do is if there’s something that’s really bothering you, all right. Is to go to your parent or your grandparent or whoever’s taking care of you, and say I need to have a really important conversation with you, something is really bothering me. And I guarantee you, kids, if you go to an adult like that, they’re going to stop, and they’re going to listen.

So let me repeat that mom, I have something very important I need to talk to you about, it’s really bothering me. Now I don’t know a mom who wouldn’t stop what they’re doing and see about what is so important that you came to her so respectfully and adult-like and didn’t run in screaming and crying and complaining and yelling. They’re going to stop and listen to you, all right? So if this is something kids that’s going on and on, and you really do want it to stop, you’re going to need a little extra help, all right?

Especially if you’re the little one, okay. You can’t always just fight back because if they’re bigger and stronger than you, you’re kind of a little bit stuck, you’re a little out of luck, okay? All right. And really fighting back, sometimes it’s appropriate to stand up for yourself with your body. But we always want to start standing up for ourselves with our mind and with our voice and our confidence first.

If that doesn’t work, then like I said, go talk to one of your parents. So when you finally get to have that conversation with them, what I want you to do is tell them that you’re not tattletaling, it’s different. You’re saying, my brother, sometimes we roughhouse and play, and it gets a little out of hand, and he hits me. Or when you’re not looking, he’ll hit me and think it’s funny, and it actually really hurts, and I’ve asked him to stop, and he won’t stop.

Can you help me? And that is what I want you to try to do next. Because then your parents will understand that this is something that’s not just kids goofing off, but this is something that’s really bothering you, and they really need to step in and do something about it.

All right, we’re fixing to start the show, so hang on. Let’s see how this goes, and I’ll be right back.

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Amy:                     Well, it’s always a pleasure to talk with our Master Mom Amanda Olson from Olson’s martial arts. She’s always got some great advice and encouragement for parents and kids. And today, she’s answering a question from the kids, focusing on some of the kid’s questions today I understand Amanda.


Amanda:              Yes. A funny thing when I started the ask master mom, I have a little box here at the academy, for parents to kind of anonymously ask questions if they like. And the kids started putting questions in there, and some of them are really fun, and we’ll do some of those.

But some of them are very serious, and today is kind of one of those tough questions. What do you do when your brother is hitting you? So that’ll be hopefully helpful to kids and parents.


Amy:                     Absolutely. And that’s one of those things, Amanda; I don’t think that ever goes away. I mean that’s, I can remember being young, and sometimes the roles may be reversed. What do you do if your sister is hitting you? But you always have those sibling conflicts.


Amanda:              Yes. It’s something that’s definitely not going to end, it’s something that just about anyone who has a sibling has dealt with. And even if you don’t, even if you’re an only child, you have cousins or best friends and your age group, and those kind of conflicts happen. So it’s not just with siblings, but something that all kids could kind of learn how to handle.


Amy:                     So what’s your advice? How do you begin to answer that because it seems like such a simple question, you tell them to stop? But it’s so much more complicated than that.


Amanda:              Yes. Typically, when that’s happening, it’s a sibling or a friend. Like I said, that’s bigger than you and stronger than you. So it does get a little tricky. And one of the things that happen is the kid that’s getting hit or whatever; things just get a little out of hand, they escalate from kind of playful to a little bit too much contact. They get upset, and they cry, and then that just kind of spurs the other kid on.

Oh wow, I’m having an effect here. And you can scream and yell and say stop it, quit hitting me and run to your parents and say Billy’s hitting me again. That kind of action doesn’t help. It’s what you’re feeling, and you’re a little kid, and that’s how you act, but you can actually do better than just kind of telling the parents he’s hitting me, because what happens?

Then the parents are like, and I’m guilty of the same thing, all right, both of you quit fighting, you’re both in timeout, or you’re both in trouble. And that’s not really what was happening; they weren’t both fighting, you were getting picked on, you were getting hurt. So you can talk to the kids and kids. This is for you too. Tell the person that’s hitting you in a very strong, confident voice as much as you can.

Please stop hitting me; it really hurts; I don’t like it. And you might be surprised that the sibling didn’t realize that they were really getting under your skin that much. They were just kind of having fun. Kids really don’t, I work in martial arts with kids; they really don’t know their own strength. And they may not have known that it was really hurting you. So that would be my first advice.

But like you said, that doesn’t always work just to tell them to stop. But I would try that first, and you might be surprised that your sibling is really sorry that they hurt you. But the next approach, and this is really important, is to go to your parent or your grandparent, whoever’s taking care of you. And when it’s not happening, says mom, there’s something very important I need to talk to you about, something that’s really bothering me.

So, kids, this is where you get to go to your parent almost like an adult, and instead of crying and screaming and telling on your brother, go and say, mom, there’s something very important I need to talk to you about. And I guarantee you as a mom, your mom is going to stop and listen, they’ll want to hear you came to them very adult-like, and this must be serious, and they want to stop and hear what you have to say.


Amy:                     Man, that is very powerful. Because when you think about it, the first thing they do when they run and tell. As a parent, you’re automatically defensive, and you’re mad at both of them, and we just need to stop.

But to actually have that conversation that I feel like these are true feelings, I would imagine any parent would want to sit them both down and have a bigger conversation.


Amanda:              Yes. I mean, as a mom, two of my kids are two and a half years apart, so there was all kinds of he’s hitting me, she’s taking my stuff. And you’re in the middle of doing something, you’re like guys, stop it, quit bickering. But it might be something that is actually kind of ongoing and needs your attention.

And it’s hard for kids to know that they can do that, that they can go and talk about something very serious. They think that sometimes we treat them too much like kids, and then that’s how they feel like they have to act. So if we kind of tells our kids, it’s okay to act like mature and say, hey, I want to have a conversation with you, mom, I need to talk to you.

And the same thing, that will help them be able to talk to their teachers at school when something’s going on. And then, of course, later in life too, have that confidence that if I go and talk to somebody, chances are they’re going to really listen instead of me just kind of barking; I don’t like this.


Amy:                     Yes. And I absolutely love that you use that word confidence, it’s just about getting them to be able to understand and communicate, and boy, that’s something they’ll take with them an entire lifetime.


Amanda:              Yes, that’s my hope. If they can get that at a young age, they will enjoy that life skill for the rest of their life.


Amy:                     All right. As always, great information Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us this morning.


Amanda:              Absolutely, good to see you.


Amy:                     Good to see you. Hey, if you would like to ask other questions or you would like to learn more about Olson’s martial arts academy, you can always visit them there on Cherry Street and John.


Amanda:              All right. So that’s a little bit of the advice. I do have a little extra for you kids, okay. So one of the things that when a brother or a cousin or whoever friend is hitting you, they get something from that. If you continue to spend time with that person, and they’re not stopping, they may continue to do it because you’re present, you’re giving them that opportunity. So what I want you to think about is when it starts happening, to leave the situation if you can.

Go to your room, shut the door. Calmly go to your parents, go outside and play, but don’t sit there and yell and expect that it’s going to stop just because you want it to. All right, sometimes you have to pull yourself out of a situation in order to make it stop. You have to get out of the way, all right? And if this person hitting you is in the way, that’s what’s happening, you need to get out of there, all right?

And without you there to pick on or hit or whatever it is they’re doing that’s bugging you, they’re going to get bored. And you can tell them; I am not going to spend time with you, I am not going to play with you. I am not going to have fun with you if you’re going to hit me like that. And a lot of times, your brother, or cousin, like I said, will not want that. They want to have somebody there with them; they want to have somebody to play with.

And if you take that away, that can be your power. I am not playing with you because you are acting mean. You are hitting me, and it’s not fun, and I’m not doing it. Next time you want to play, if you’re mean to me, I’m going to stop playing again. And these are things that you can have control over. Maybe you’re not big enough or strong enough to fight back, and again like I said, that’s not always the first thing we want to do.

But if you do have the power to calmly talk to your parents about it, you do have that. If you go yelling and screaming, mom is not really going to hear that, okay? It’s going to aggravate her, all right. You can talk to your parents; you can stand up for yourself and say you’re really hurting me, stop doing it, and you can get out of the situation, all right. You can stop being with your brother; you can go to another room.

And just don’t get upset, and say I’m not playing with you because you are hurting me. And let’s see if some things don’t change, all right? But do remember it’s okay to talk to a parent, and it’s very okay to talk to a teacher if something is happening at school because they can help you. But you do want to do it the right way, and the right way is to do it like a grown-up would, all right.

Miss so-and-so, I need to talk to you about something very important, and you do that, and you’re going to get their attention, and they’re going to want to hear what you have to say, all right? Okay, kids, hopefully, that is helpful. Remember, if it’s still going on, if you need some help, talk to your family, talk to your teachers at school, and they can help you, all right? Because we don’t want you getting hit by your brother, trust me, all right? None of us like getting picked on, all right? And we want to do what we can to help you through that. Alright, kids have a great day, Master Mom; I’ll see you in class.

From the Olson Family

We would first like to say, “Welcome!”  It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment.  As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well.  Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond.  The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence. 

What it Takes to become a Martial Arts Black Belt

It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt.  Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important.  It shows you don’t quit; you don’t give up.  That you have what it takes!  Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to: like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want.  We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own.  However, we are not surprised by their success.  We already know they have what it takes to live their dream. 

Character Development

Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have.  Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict.  Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right.  Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities.  People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.

 Let us Partner with You!

Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle.  Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying.  We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life.

 Sincerely,   Amanda, Keith and Katie