11 Comments

"It also reminded me that we can’t always protect our kids from hurt or worry". A smart new dad said this! Well done, Brad. A book we all read as new parents was The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel - It reminded us that our kids need to experience some pain and figure some stuff out for themselves to grow to balanced adults. The impact of birth order is real to me. I am the baby in my family and by the time my parents got around to me they had me + 3 other kids. There was no more fussing over the last child like the first child! Yes, shorten your posts but keep us informed each week is a good plan!

Expand full comment
author

As a second-born, I always said that I’d make sure to give my second the same care and attention as the first. Now I realise that it’s just impossible to do it exactly ad you did it the first time - there’s no getting around the fact that your attention is well and truly split

Expand full comment

Birth order is so real with my kids! Never a dull moment. 🙂

Expand full comment

Firstly, congratulations! You get a bit less fanfare the second time round but it is no less amazing what parents of a newborn achieve. And there’s another one in the mix! It’s crazy times.

My children are 4 and 1 and we are expecting our third right now so I was very curious to hear your take on this. It’s a tricky one to manage. One of my reasons for having more than one child was because I wanted my son to have at least one sibling. I am an only child and it has been absolutely fine for me but I find myself missing a sibling especially in adulthood. So I was a bit crestfallen when, before the birth of my second child, my eldest son’s nursery teacher told me that it was going to be a tough ride for him. It has and it hasn’t. Of course there have been times I couldn’t be there for my eldest, which has been hard, but he has got closer to my husband and my Mum which has probably been good for him.

And their sibling relationship is just mind blowing to me. SO much love and SO much fighting!! They are at an age when the eldest takes a protective, paternal role and the youngest copies everything his brother says and does. I’ve had to learn that their feelings are their feelings and all we can do is empathise... I mean yes of course we’re also trying to make a special effort to give each child what they need. For my eldest that is sometimes a day for just us, as it used to be, but mostly it is 10 minutes of undivided attention each day and lots of reassurance and listening. And on bad days I imagine that at least they will get to be their for each other for the whole of their lives, and hope they stay close throughout. Regardless of these high emotions in the early years. All the best x

Expand full comment
author

I’m not quite sure how I’ll emotionally be able to handle them fighting! We had our first hitting incident today where my eldest hit the baby on the head with a toy - it was an accident and she was just playing excitedly but it just reminded me that there may be many more incidents like this in the future 🫠

Expand full comment

SO much love and SO much fighting. So True!

Expand full comment

It’s so true! With no siblings myself I really struggle with the fighting, it is so awful to watch! x

Expand full comment

I've also seen such a difference in my kids since instituting the 10-15 minutes with each child. I really hope mine stay close. My brother and I were super close as kids but geography and time has definitely strained the relationship.

Expand full comment
May 5, 2023Liked by Brad Kelley

I am the father of three daughters who are all adults now. I don't remember all the details of the impact on each child as the next came along but some things do stand out. My oldest, as wise as she seems now and as much as she loves her sisters, was not thrilled with a baby sister the first time. There wasn't any violence but we did have some pushback and her face showed much of what she was feeling. My middle daughter is an introvert and kept most of what she was feeling to herself. What you may have to prepare for is the response of your youngest and your response to them. My youngest daughter is our extrovert and was our daredevil. She wanted to do everything her sisters could do as soon as she could. She also struggled to stay awake as long as possible convinced that she would miss something while asleep. She was the one we struggled most with while at the same time not giving her as much attention as we did her sisters. If the oldest was sick or injured we would freak out and fuss over her almost constantly. It felt like unless my youngest was bleeding profusely or in serious danger of death or dismemberment we would encourage her to shake it off and move on. Neither response was wrong but I feel like the later response was closer to being balanced and probably better for the child although each child to some extent gets the attention they need. I count myself blessed that they all seem like relatively well adjusted adults now.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the call out to our newsletter on adjusting. I am so glad you found it helpful. I loved this post and everything you shared!. I do write and comment through my mobile often and there are definitely some limitations.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you Dr. Cara! 🙏

Expand full comment