A little girl made a craft very lovingly and with a lot of hard work. Her younger sister wanted that craft, the girl didn’t want to part with it. But the parents forced her, “Choti behen hai de do!” Ten minutes later the younger sister forgot about the craft and dumped it somewhere. The older girl felt bad but she had to comply being the elder child.
Another incident was narrated by my daughter a few days ago. Her friend’s brother is only 2 years younger, but she lamented that her mother scolds her even if her brother is wrong or mischievous. Her brat brother hits her, when she complains, her mother ignores and says “Chota bhai hai..”. The girl was extremely upset and said such incidents happen almost daily.
Often knowingly or unknowingly, the parents expect the older child to be “samajhdar” or suddenly grow up. There are things which hurt the older child, but he/she is not supposed to state or even if they state it they are labeled as being “unreasonable.” Teaching the child to share, be considerate, and asking him/her to adjust or be more sensible simply because he/she is the elder sibling are two different things. Sometimes such behavior remain as scars even when the child grows up.
Its very important to understand that the first child is also a child no matter how old he/she is. Striking a balance is not an easy task, as parents we falter many times, but realizing that we have been unfair and acting on it is more important. Sometimes let the first child be “nasamajh” around you, don’t always ask him/her to adjust or comply, let the younger child also realize that he/she cannot get away with everything.
Parenting is walking on a tightrope, but hell yeah we can do it/we are doing it..😀