In a family, it is sometimes thought that we have a problem child.
We know now that the more we will see him like that, the truer it will become. (see siblings without rivalry – ch 5)
One thing is to make sure we help this child, the other is not to impose more on the others on the pretext that this one has difficulties. It’s a bit like siblings order. Even if it is natural, there is no real reason for a « big one » to not act like a little one anymore, just because there is an even smaller one.
When we last change countries, we struggled. Really. Emotionally, and logistically.
And the 2 small ones really made things harder.
The baby (7 months), began to wake up again several times a night, our almost 3 year old boy couldn’t understand that his world has changed, he would refuse everything, wouldn’t go to sleep without us, and started to hit his little brother.
So, as uneasy as it was for us as well, we were managing as best as we could…
And I remember that in this period,we required from our older ones (12 and 7 years old) that they have no problem. I even remember a time when, after a fight between them, we clearly explained that it already was hard enough with the little ones, and they were expected not to add up to it.
Afterwards, I realized how unfair we had been: they may have little brothers for whom it was difficult, but that did not mean it wasn’t difficult for them as well!
Is it acceptable to repress children, to impose on them a responsibility and good behaviour, when they really are just children who would like to express themselves as well, just because they have siblings who make us unavailable?