Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh brother,
Difficulties between siblings at some point or another is almost an inevitable part of life. Our siblings are those that are close to us so it is not unusual to get into scuffles both verbally and physically. As you mom says, he is just 5 years old so to play like this is quite normal. However, just because he is young, it doesn’t excuse him or make it OK to be physically aggressive toward you or anyone else for that matter.
As his brother, you are closest to him and it is easier for him to get away with it than if he behaved this way to his friends or even extended family members. He knows that you love him unconditionally and cannot really abandon him. However, he also now knows that he won’t be punished for his behaviour, and in fact you will so he also has no deterrent to stop, so it is of little wonder why he continues to behave in this way.
However, you should also understand that your actions towards him as well may also be encouraging his continued aggression. As much as you dislike him slapping you, you slapping Jim only lets him know that to slap people is acceptable behaviour. He looks up to you as an older brother and will copy your behaviour because he sees you as his role model. Just an additional point also, even in the rare cases that it is ok to use physical punishment towards another, it is not OK to do so to a person’s head/face. However, in your scenario it is not acceptable for either of you to be slapping each other. But, do also understand that you are older and therefore more accountable for your actions. You can use this as a positive thing in teaching your brother and role modelling the correct way to handle situations so that he will emulate this and change his behaviour for the better too and leave you alone.
The best thing you can do is to be a better role model and not slap him, but of course its not that easy! However, there are many ways you can improve the situation that will avoid the situation of him slapping you in the first place.
One way is to try and understand why he is even doing it in the first place. Is he just looking for your attention? Perhaps he just wants to play but doesn’t yet understand the most appropriate way to ask. Perhaps when he starts disturbing you next time give him a bit of your attention. Even if it is just to play with him for 5 minutes and then direct him to something he can continue to do with so much of your input so you can go about your business and he his after you have satisfied his need for a bit of your attention.
If you find this doesn’t work and he continues to bother you, then try first with words only to tell him to stop, that you don’t like it. If he continues, then calmly walk away and go somewhere else that he can’t bother you anymore.
Perhaps, that may be in the presence of you parents so that they can see you and him and either he will stop so they can’t see him misbehaving, or if he continues then they will see what he is doing and deal with him accordingly. Walking away from him calmly models a positive behaviour for him. It doesn’t teach him that slapping is ok, but teaches him that the best way to deal with such behaviour is to remove yourself from the situation. It may take many attempts at this to get him to understand, but in sha Allah with patience he will soon learn and then copy you.
In sha Allah as you grow older together your relationship will only strengthen and you will be a source of comfort for each other.
May Allah bring ease to your situation and grant you and your brother softness in each others hearts for one another.
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