Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Siblings Without Rivalry?

It's come to this. I am reading a book on parenting. I don't know what else to do other than seek professional help, which isn't out of the realm of possibility.

The book? Siblings Without Rivalry. The kicker? When I was a senior in college, I actually presented this curriculum to a parent education class that I was facilitating as part of my internship. Of course I don't remember a lick of it. It was after all a long time ago, and at the time the content was not very relevant to my every day life, thus, it didn't stick. Ironic that now, at 36 I am the student.

I am hoping that the book will actually provide me with some insight and useful tools to help me break the dreadful cycle of "nah-nah-nah-nah-boo-boo" and "You love him more than me." It better or I may just run off and join the freaking circus. So far, I am finding the book to be interesting. My favorite nugget thus far is as follows : Imagine that your husband takes you aside one day and tells you "I love you so much and you are so special to me, that I am going to get a second wife. She is going to add so much joy to our family, and I know that you will love her too. I expect you to be very nice to her and share all of your belongings with her."

Yeah. Now that hit home. It gives a whole new perspective on how it might feel to be a kid welcoming a new sibling into the family. It would kind of suck.

The book goes on to provide many examples of positive reactions to sibling jealousy, and I think some of the ideas just may work, but I worry that I am not smart enough to execute these techniques in real life. It's one thing to say what you would do in a hypothetical situation, and another to think fast on your feet in the heat of a preschooler versus toddler meltdown. But I am going to try. Hard.

Is it just me, or does this whole parenting thing seem to get more difficult and complicated with time?


  1. No, it is not just you. "What would happen if we left the baby in the Eagle Heights woods"? "What would happen if the baby fell down the stairs". - R. Kargas, l977.

  2. Wow - never thought of it in those terms before (ie the "second wife hypothetical" - made me laugh too!). Yeah it is complicated. Good days will come though, everything with kids comes in phases. Good luck!

  3. Both of my kids are convinced that we give the other child more attention. It makes for an interesting dynamic in the household. Basically, we're just trying to stay alive. And married.

  4. We LIVE by this book. And I'm probably going to jinx it, but our kids get along really well (knocking on wood).

  5. Ug... something to look forward to with my little ones. Good luck! And yes, the 2nd wife hypothetical puts it in perspective!