Adult Brother Screams at Kids?

Hey Brooke! My 75-year old Mom is living with my 38-year old brother. She’s been living there about 9 months. My brother has 2 sons, ages 6 and 7 – and he gets to have them about 10 days a month. My Mom says that my brother is an angry and controlling person (her story) – and her issues with him are (1) How he treats her and (2) how he treats his 2 sons. I told her that she can create personal boundaries based on how he treats her (i.e. “If you continue to yell at me, I will leave the room” or “…I will move out”) but that she has to be willing to follow through on any boundaries she makes. She’s very open to all of this and getting value out of what I’m sharing.

Her bigger concern, however, is how my brother treats his kids. She’s VERY open to the model – and we’ve been talking about that in terms of her feelings separate from my brother’s actions – but if my brother is yelling at his kids with my Mom there – I’m not sure how to help her change her thinking about this. I get that my brother gets to act as he wants. And my Mom gets to stay or leave as she wishes. But how can I help her think about a situation where my brother is yelling at his kids?

Here’s her example Model:

C: Person A. yells at his 2 sons
T: Person A should NOT be yelling at his sons. They are crying, in anguish, and did nothing wrong.
F: Angry, Upset
A: Tell Person A he’s wrong for yelling at his sons.
R: Person A continues to yell at sons – AND now gets angry at me for interfering

New Model:

C: Person A. yells at his 2 sons
T: Person A is just fearful that if he doesn’t control them and make them “perfect”, they’ll end up like him (and he doesn’t like himself/his life)
F: Empathy, sympathy for son, love
A: ?
R: ?

I’m trying to keep from showing her a model where any specific thought creates an action that guarantees that my brother will stop yelling at his kids. (That’s the outcome she wants) I don’t want her to use the model as a new way to control my brother’s actions – so she can feel happy (with the situation, her son, etc.). I’m trying to get her to see that she gets to think/feel/act however she wants – regardless as to what my brother does (stops yelling, continues to yell).

I’m curious what your thoughts are on this situation. I can see where you can get to a place where you’re either OK with yelling at kids – or you leave a place where there’s lots of yelling at kids – but wow… Maybe it’s my own internal story that you don’t scream at your 6 and 7 year old kids that’s blocking my thoughts on this.

I know she can’t control the situation or my brother – but while she’s still here, I’d like to support her in giving her some peace with a situation that she may never be able to influence. Thoughts?