Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sibling Rivalry Help

When my daughter was young I had a family daycare home, which I operated like a small preschool. But once I had a neighbor who was in the Navy and only got two weeks of maternity leave, but the base childcare wouldn't accept babies younger than three months. Because she was desperate I agreed to care for the baby.
To my surprise, the other kids were all jealous of the baby, although they had never seemed jealous of each other. When I asked them about it they said I loved the baby more than I loved them. I assured them I didn't and asked what made them think so.
They couldn't answer.
Finally one articulate little boy said I loved the baby more than I loved them because I hugged it all the time. All the others agreed.
I explained that when I held the baby in my arms I wasn't hugging it. Since the baby couldn't walk or crawl it couldn't get from one place to another without being carried and because it couldn't eat or drink by itself I had to hold it to give it a bottle.
All the kids relaxed immediately and there was never another sign that they were jealous of the baby.
Whenever there's a new baby in a family maybe parents should explain the same thing to their other little ones. Although some sibling rivalry is inevitable, that might help keep it to a minimum.

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