" The question that's probably uppermost in the child's mind is : Why do my parents want to have a baby? Don't they love me? And if they love me, why do they need another one? Aren't I enough? Imagine for a minute yourself in a similar situation. Your husband comes home and says : " Honey I love you so much, I've decided to get another wife so I can have two." How would you feel?
- LAWRENCE BALTER.
" Yes, I am the eldest one!", but just older to my brother by one year and ten months.
Well ! as per my experience and observations, the elder siblings often seem to be bearing the brunt! As elder brother or sister we do have our share of big brotherly / sisterly moments. Where in absence of parents we can bully our younger siblings, but this happens once in a blue moon.
And moment we get that chance we just grab it, aare bhai!! it is more like a silver lining in the dark clouds for us.
As soon as the little ones arrive, parents start conditioning the elder ones to be more responsible, caring, rule-abiding, parents' helping hands and most importantly to be always -perfect!
Like two sides of a coin, one head and other tail, being an elder sibling does have its charm also, but most of the times for elders it is like 'heads you win, tails I lose'.
Elder siblings at times tend to lose their childhood, and parents are unaware of it, as they unknowingly appoint the older child with tasks he or she is not ready for.
My neighbours have a ten year old son and recently they were blessed with a baby girl. It was of course a very happy moment for the family and the little boy of ten years all the sudden developed a big brotherly attitude, he himself distributed sweets to the neighbours.
But, soon his innocence of being a carefree and jovial child was lost. This reminded me of the poems by WILLIAM BLAKE, " Songs of Innocence" and " Songs of experience", where a child represents innocence and as he gains experience he becomes old, transforming into an adult.
But this was rather too early for a ten year old kid, as his circumstances will be soon pushing him to become a young adult and losing out on his childhood so early.
How from very early on, he must always lead, be an example, an idol for the younger one! How he never can let his hair down!
Sorry readers, it is not a write-up on parenting tips or an advice on parenting.
But a more of excerpts of a conversation I had with a boy, who has just become an elder brother.
Well things/experience are subject to change from person to person, but majority follow the same trends.
Being the first born child, my parents have always pampered me but Yes I did have certain norms and rules to be followed , to set an example to younger one, so that he does not go astray;)
But all elder ones are not as lucky as me. My neighbours son when visited me, I was amused to hear and learn from what he confessed to me . Now, he hated being called as elder grown up child.His life had changed the moment the new addition to the family was made. The people went crazy after the little creature with minuscule limbs! and thick curly mop of hair on her head came into their lives.
She was just a little bigger than the little bat and teddies he had in his room.
But then came the harsh reality and bitter truth of his life. In every two steps, a warning or the other came his way, " You need to set an example. Your younger sibling is watching." Be careful, play cautiously, be watchful, forgiving, and generous towards the younger one.
When she cries the whole of the household rushes and If I cry or get hurt e very one comes and admonishes me - "YOU ARE ELDER LEARN TO TAKE CONTROL".
"At times I change her diapers, I am treated as if I have become an uncle, she so often vomits out everything out but no body objects to that".
"I also want to be free and enjoy.I am no wonder child!".
On listening to his woes and worries, I tried to comfort him , by saying that it will be a blessing in disguise, as she grows up. It would be so much fun to play and share with the younger one.
But, he totally disagreed with me.
First, he did not liked being called or put in the category of a grown-up, to take up duties ans his younger sister being called the 'baby of the house'.
Second, she nonchalantly expects everyone to do things for her, and at times hits me and I am expected to forgive her always , he confided in me.
I actually had no answer to his questions, so I decided, that I will very politely convey to his parents, so that so, they let him enjoy his childhood as he was too young to comprehend the role of being an elder brother and babysit for his sister.
And I did so, thinking that I have done a decent job and given a 'nip in the bud' to this on-going nuisance of being a grown up child. But in vain...
Well, if you think that parents have learnt from their mistakes, you are wrong!
No, still things haven't changed.
The parents are desperate to imbibe " I- must- do-it- right" syndrome in the boy that too without his making any complains or hue or cry.
And as far as i am concerned , I have accepted the universal truth, yes it is a natural (occult) Phenomena .
My emphathies with the elder ones; no matter how old we grow elder siblings will be expected to behave in Godly, more mature and calm manner, where as, the younger ones will have all the perks and privileges. Please no offence here to the younger ones as they are conditioned in such a way.
But, that does not mean that siblings don't have their share of fun as sibling rivalry and revelry is all part of growing up. The ones who need to act more mature and have understanding is the parents, because unknowingly many times we burden the elder ones with our expectations and pamper the younger to an extent that some where the balance is lost. Let siblings have their share of bonding without parents over-burdening the elder or being over-indulgent in the whole process.
There is no bond as strong as the bond between the siblings .