Friday, August 24, 2012

Learning to be a big sister

The hardest part about having a second child is the inevitable reduction in attention that the older child is subjected to.  Even if you want to it just cannot be helped. The difficult two weeks postpartum for the mother plus the demanding new born leaves little time for the older child as i found out. Even if your spouse is there to look after the older kid, the child goes thru' trying times coping with the little intruder who gets priority attention from mama. Its no surprise that the child feels some resentment towards the baby. We had prepared our older daughter for the new arrival this last year since we found out about my pregnancy. We got her books about how her favorite charachters copes with the birth of a sibling. yet we expected some resentment. And it came. She announced the first night at home amid pools of tears that she didnt like the baby and didnt want to be a big sister. She wasn't the only one who cried. We told her its okay not to like the baby and that it was difficult to be a big sister. We let her anger come out. The resentment trickled down over the next few days. Sometimes she would say playfully that we could float away the baby in a basket like baby karna of mahabharata fame! But suggest that we would actually give the baby away and she doesn't agree. Once we playfully pretended to be thrown out of the house and in reality hid behind the door. She went out searching for us with concern and when she found we were inside afterall, got angry at being fooled and burst into tears! It broke our hearts. And now she absolutely adores the baby. Has coped amazingly well. Loves to shower her with kisses and overflowing sisterly affection. I keep an eye out on symptoms of resentment hidden inside a palour of affection. But her love seems to be heartfelt. Sibling rivalry is bound to set in once they start stepping into each others space but as of now its hunky dory.


3 comments:

Balachandran V said...

But that is the fate of all big sisters! :-)

As they grow up, they tend to be bossy, dominant - but learns to shoulder responsibility also. Most big sisters end up as teachers, like Parvati!! :-D

You might ask her to take care of the baby - you know, little things. Make her think that the baby sister is hers to be protected and cared for.

But- do find time for Ananya...

anilkurup said...

Natural affinity will play its part I guess.

Rukhsana Badar said...

Prepare for sibling rivalry by not preparing for it. It is not a rule. Ananya is a wonderful big sister and both are going to be the best of friends!