What is really going on between siblings?: (Part Two)
Miko and Kaya are getting ready to go out with their Dad. “Get Miko ready to go out,” Dad says to Kaya. He lifts Miko from the living room where he was playing and Miko starts crying. Dad plops him by the door near Kaya. Kaya puts his jacket on and asks him what’s the matter. Miko tries to mouth some words while crying and Kaya says, “Oh you wanted to play some more? But Daddy said to get ready.” Dad asks, “What’s the matter with him?” Kaya answers, “He wanted to play more.” She puts his shoes on and they all walk out while Miko continues crying.
As we mentioned in Part One, having two or more children is great because they can learn from each other, not to mention keep each other entertained while Mom gets her 14 daily minutes of alone time.
But many families fall in the trap of:
Making the older sibling become a babysitter.
Pros: This can be a great way to teach an older child responsibility and how to be a big sister or big brother,
But sometimes this dynamic is not the best way to teach siblings to relate to each other and can keep them from learning important skills by themselves.
By expecting Kaya to dress Miko, he’s not learning the skill of dressing himself. Kaya could actually help teach him that if her Dad instructed her to. When Miko was crying and trying to express himself, Kaya ended up speaking for him:
Older sibling speaking for the younger ones. A lot of siblings do this because they have more words in their vocabulary and it is a compassionate act that Kaya is doing but:
Cons: Many younger siblings’ verbalization skills get delayed because their older brother or sister translates for them. As in this scene, they walk out without giving Miko a chance to speak for himself.
Pros: The younger ones learn new words and ways to have his needs met. Only if this is done intentionally, as in Kaya turning to Miko and saying - “this is what we say when…..”
Siblings lose time alone with Mommy or Daddy. It’s important for parents to spend time alone with each sibling. Family time can be one parent or both parents with one child and then at another time, the other child.
Pros: Each child feels secure in their relationship with their parents, which helps them build confidence. And that will count for a lot when they grow up. This way, each child receives the benefits of having siblings and having solo time with Mommy and Daddy.
There are no Cons with this.