Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This is Morgan and her younger cousin Michael. The reason the title is siblings is I have always found people's birth order traits very interesting . With child number 2 on the way, I'm wondering how NOT to foster certain 1st born traits. For example, just from what I have observed, 1st born tend (there are always exceptions) to feel that they need to keep the other siblings in line or take care of things. Which isn't necessarily bad but I don't want to put my responsibility as a parent on my toddler who needs to be a toddler and not a co-parent with mommy :). I can see how this happens just from taking care of my nephew for a couple of hours. Morgan although she isn't quite two yet seems to be so much older in skills compared to her cousin. I can ask her to get the bottle for the baby or the toy for the baby. As I was asking her to do this, I thought perhaps this is how it starts for first borns to get that characteristic. Mom needs help with the young ones and so she depends on the older ones to help.

I know most people reading this are probably thing, duhhhh, but I purposely wanted to avoid that and had thought about it before and wanted to avoid doing it and STILL did it. So I'm figuring out how I can have a 2nd baby around without transferring my responsibility or putting an unhealthy load on my toddler.


Jeni said...

Eh, I wouldn't say it's an "unhealthy load" for an older sibling to feel responsible for their younger sibling. I think that older siblings naturally WANT to nurture the younger sibling because they're smaller. Everyone wants to have someone to take care of. :)

Erica said...

this is true, Jeni It's just probably me as I have a tendency to feel that I can fall into the role of dictating jobs and tasks easily.

TPluckyT said...

I'm with you . . . The problem is that I have failed remarkably at this through two sets of kids . . . But I've got my money on you finding the right balance . .

scoey-d said...

Being able to help with a sibling is really rewarding, esp. when its your own idea & you want to do it - I have 3 younger brothers & greatly enjoyed that part.

From other 1st borns I've talked with, a common theme of something that they wish they HADN'T been given by their parents is the reminder "You are responsible for your brother/sister." And when the littler one gets in trouble, sticking it to the older one because they didn't stop it. Sometimes there's no stopping a determined little one. :)

Jeni said...

I think what scoey says is true-- especially when you start talking about more than two children. It's true that it should be THEIR idea and not the parents' idea.

Erica said...

Tim- thanks :)
Scoey-d: Thank you for the example. I could see how a parent could easily shift the responsibility as the older one seems so much more capable then the younger one.

Man! do I know that there is sometimes no stopping a determine child!

laura said...

so, what are you saying about first borns??? i'm a first born, if you couldn't already tell:) I still look out for my "little" brothers... and everyone else:)
I agree with scoey 100%, I have to tell Juliana sometimes that I am the mommy... just as a reminder.She seems to mother isabella naturally, not because of the responsibilities i have put on her. Sometimes there isn't avoiding certain roles that we all fall into within the family unit.
I think what plucky said is true... balance. I think its also important for the siblings to help out and learn responsibility and compassion, so don't avoid it all together.
i could ramble forever, so i will stop now.