Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sibling jealousy

Another long ago written, but never posted, out of the blog vault.

One of the biggest concerns among parents about to have a 2nd child is
jealousy. That and how can I possibly love another as much, are the
most asked questions I get.

The love question is easily answered. The answer everyone gives is
pretty much the gist of it. Your love doesn't divide, it grows. To
add to that, they get additional love. Both children gain sibling
love. Sibling love is something that cannot be duplicated. Sibling
love is different than parental love. Sibling love will be there long
after their parents are gone.

Jealousy is a bit harder. I have trouble answering that question
because we've never had a huge issue. I do not know the actual reason
we don't have an issue. I am not going to say we haven't had
jealousy. It is subtle. It can be a toddler that's a little more
clingy, we just cuddled them more. It can be a preschooler who's a
little more defiant, we just try to be understanding. Maybe these
issues aren't as apparant because we don't push siblings aside for the
baby. I can cuddle a toddler watching TV while I nurse a baby. I can
take a preschooler to the playground with baby out of the way in the
sling. I can take an older child to scouts with the baby tucked away
in the Ergo.

In our house jealousy of the baby isn't so much the problem. The
jealousy the baby causes can be more the problem. She got to hold the
baby longer. He's hogging the baby. I was playing with her first.
They all want to hold the baby, play with the baby, sit next to the
baby, etc.

I don't think you could find prouder older siblings. My son was so
proud holding his new sister (the same boy who was scared of babies 2
years earlier). They will hold the babies hand in the car to help her
fall asleep. They get the most excited when they make a baby laugh.
They want to bring their baby to show and tell.

Only in my house do the kids actual want more siblings. Yes, like
every other kid, mine don't enjoy sharing. That doesn't matter to
them when it comes to babies. B thinks we should have 20 kids (sorry,
not happening). S is mad that we won't give her twin baby brothers
(as if mommy isn't crazy enough). Sorry guys but we have no plans
to be the next Duggars.

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