EP5 – My Little Brother Blues
It takes a little extra effort to be aware of how to keep the older siblings from resenting the younger ones. There are some great lessons here.
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I don't know, Jack about parenting. Today's episode is going to be about my little brother blues and I can't wait to share it with you,
I was at the pediatrician yesterday
How's everybody doing? Welcome to episode four of the podcast. Newly titled, I don't know jack about parenting. I don't know Jack about parenting. Today's episode is going to be about my little brother blues and I can't wait to share with you
my little brother Blues, my little brother Blues. That's it. That's the title of today's podcast and the reason I titled it that way is because while I was at the pediatrician yesterday with my youngest who is had a little bit of a nasal problems, which for those of you who are parents, understand the nasal goes into the eyes because they can't blow their nose quite yet. He's one a, so if he can't get that congestion now, seeps up into the eyes. Which one he sleeps, he keeps his eyes shut and you know, if it goes from the eyes, the next place in naturally goes to. If it's not coming out there is the ears. So he got sent home from daycare the other day with a pink eye, which once we went through a doctor and we had a discussion. No, it's simple. It is.
He had a case in the baby brother Blues
There's a little bit of congestion that could potentially cause a slight ear infection. There was a little fluid there, so we're taking care of it. But the pediatrician, which obviously takes care of my older son for the last seven years, says, how is he doing? So well he's got a case of the baby brother Blues and she's like, I like that. And so will you understand and that's what I'm going to talk about a little bit today. So I'm going to share with you why he had a case in the baby brother Blues. Uh, yesterday was a Tuesday, a week and a half ago. I typically have lunch with my son a few times a year at school. I'll go in, we'll have lunch. A couple of his friends come over to a special table, have lunch with his friends and uh, I said I haven't made it to school yet this year.
Have I, and mind you, we're still in the first quarter so it's not anything abnormal, but I probably make it a half dozen times each year. I said I can't make it this week, but I can make it next week. I'm putting it on my calender. So I put on my calendar for Tuesday at 11:00 and go have lunch with my son. Well guess who gets sent home on Monday and can't go back without a doctor's note. And he gets up Tuesday morning, my older and he says, does this mean that you can't have lunch with me today? And I was like, I have to bring your little brother to the doctor and I have to make sure he's okay and I haven't quite made an appointment yet and he's going to have nap time and he'll be home with me and I'll have to bring him and I'm probably not going to be able to make it. To which he put his head down and he was a little bummed out. This is what I'll tell you, parents. I don't know Jack about parenting, but I do know that we've done a lot of extra effort. Did doctors tell you this? If you read books, it tells you this, that you got to have dedicated time towards the older one so that the older one doesn't feel left out once you have a new one.
We're going to rely on you
Now we had countless, countless conversations prior to the birth of the younger child about how he. The older one's a little bit older and because you're older and you could do things for yourself, you can get yourself dressed and you could bathe yourself. The baby just doesn't have the ability to do any of that, so although mommy and daddy want to spend time with you because the baby can't do any of that for himself, we have to do all of that, so we're going to rely on you to be a little more independent. And he gets that conceptually right. There's a whole different thing when he had to do it for itself.
Not to mention as a rowdy six and seven year old who wants to bounce off the walls and bounce balls and play action figures rough and build Lego's and destroy them, he often hears shhhh got to be quiet. You're brother's sleeping when his brothers awake? Oh, you gotta. Be careful you can't play legos because those small pieces will want to put them in his mouth. Your brother, your brother this, your brother that. Well, can we do this now? No. We got to feed your brother. Can we do this? Oh, I got to change your brother. It's all about his brother and unfortunately that's the reality that he lives in right now that the world or our world, because his brother is on a very regimented schedule, even though he's on a schedule too. There's a lot of freelance and his schedule, the older one's, he doesn't understand that.
You just have to roll with it
We're trying to create certainty for both these boys in. He's the one can't say to the younger one, hey, your brother's got to go eat now. You just. You just have to roll with it. I don't have to tell him, for lack of a better term. No. Which I very rarely if ever used the term no to either of them, but that's chapter 13 of my book. Be The dad you wish you had Because we don't want to say no to kids. We want to give them options, so by giving him other options or alternative options are explaining to him why we're doing something. He is getting the baby boy, the baby brother Blues, so I'm going to share this for anyone who may be pregnant now with the second one, there can be some resentment towards the younger one because the other one, the younger one's new, so I'm going to share a little story around what we did to prevent the baby brother Blues from day one. What we did was number one, people suggested this to me. They all made sense, so we did it well. First thing is he was the first person. My older one was the first person introduced to his younger brother, other than myself and the wife and the hospital staff.
He came with my mother in law and my sister in law, they were the first ones to arrive at the hospital. When he got there, we get a couple of things. We made them wait in the waiting room for an additional 20 minutes. We said Christian gets to meet him first and they're like, why? I was like, we don't have to explain that to you right now because just respect where we're at with this. We want him to be introduced to his brother first so that he feels special about it. Is Is this is him meeting his brother at the first time and he, we wanted him to be the center of attention because we knew that the baby would be the center of attention the rest of the way.
He came bearing a present for you
Secondly, what we did was we wrapped the present from his brother to him present from the baby to his older brother at the time he was into some Benton action figures and we said, Jayden, when he came, he came bearing a present for you and he opened. The president was like, I already know you. So excited, right? He has no clue or concept about this ages. Was like, wow, my baby brothers, the coolest in the whole world. He brought me a prison and he just arrived. So after he held them and he spent a little time with him and 15 minutes Max, maybe 20, I went and got my mother in law. My sister in law and exactly what all the books said would happen is what happened.
They came into the room, you. It was all about the baby. When before it was all about the older, he held the baby. Now I'm watching and I'm observing because I'm concerned about the older one I'm concerned is a baby, doesn't baby's going to get all loving in the world for, for a long time, and I'm watching and he's trying to play hide and go seek and he's trying to get mom's attention, which mom's exhausted from just giving birth. Um, grandma and Auntie Shelley, both of them are completely ignoring him. And here I am saying, Hey, you wanna play. Let's go checkout where daddy's been getting his lunch. Let's go down in the cafeteria. Let's go do this. Let's go do that.
Nobody realizes exactly how much they ignore the older sibling
Because not to anybody's detriment, but nobody realizes exactly how much they ignore the older sibling. When a new baby is around in the baby, brother Blues can happen immediately. That first day. If you're not highly conscious of it, I'll share another story. Um, we had, uh, another couple that goes to school with my son and her little girl and they had had a baby about four months before we had our second child and their daughter, uh, within the first week, grandma was there and said, hey, you want to go to a park? And she goes, this is my little sister has to go, says no, why do you ask? Because whatever my sisters around, nobody pays attention to me. See, kids will speak their truth. They will speak their blues. It's us as adults who have to pay attention and if we're not paying attention closely enough, guess what? They start to feel less than, less than love, less than important.
Uh, and that's not what any of us want for our parents, but our for our kids. But we don't know Jack about parenting. I don't know Jack about parenting. So to alleviate the baby brother Blues from yesterday, my wife took the day off of work. She's actually gonna be working from home. I typically work from home. I would have normally gone and had lunch with him today but is actually going to go, which is a special treat. All he's excited about mom going and having lunch with him. I will make sure that I make it there next week to have lunch with them on next Tuesday. Unless of course the baby brother blues come up again.
Be conscious of your actions around in your terminology
And he's going to spend the afternoon with, with mom doing some things is again, she took the day off. She's going to pull them out of school early today. So he's going to get dedicated mom time, um, his brother's not going to get picked up until he really needs to be picked up and they're just gonna have a great lunch and a great afternoon together. Well Dad, get some work done. I'm outside of the house. So those are the baby brother Blues. Make sure that the older one is getting the attention that he or she needs and be conscious of your actions around in your terminology around, hey, we have to do this because of your little brother, your little sister or doing this because your little brother, your little sister. Because I could only imagine what that says to a child is, am I less than important? Is My baby brother or sister more important? Do you love them more? Because that's what it probably after that message is being drilled and drilled and drilled, what it must feel like to a, to it, to an older sibling who isn't quite old enough to understand and grasp that mom and dad, I'm still love them equally as much.
And not that the priority has changed, but the energy and the time has shifted. I often tell him, I'll end with this thought. I'll often tell him, you know, you got way more than your little brothers ever gotten all this time I spent with you. Now it all the time I spend with him. You got all of that time. Daddy was never distracted by anything else where he gets a little bit of my time and you get a little bit of my time. You guys have to split the time. So you got twice as much, if not more time than he ever got.
I've captured a lot of those memories
And the beauty of this device right here that I'm talking into is I've captured a lot of those memories and we go back and watch videos of me playing with them and doing things, and I said, see, I deal all the same stuff, if not more with you to try to avoid the baby brother Blues, baby sister blues, but making sure you're pouring some of your attention into the older one intentionally and separate from the baby. That was episode five of, I don't know, Jack about parenting. Talk to you soon.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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