Having a new ‘brother’ – the children’s perspective

We have a 9 year old daughter  (A) and a 7 year old son (L). My daughter wrote out her own questions and answers on top of what I asked her.

We are so proud of how our children have taken to H turning our world upside down. They both accepted him into our family and adore him! 

When he first arrived our daughter was very excited. She had not long grown out of dolls so this, I think to her, was like a real life doll! She is very maternal and loves to help out whenever she can. We thought the novelty would wear off but for now, at least, it hasn’t.

L was a lot more subdued. My boy likes to sit back and assess things before jumping in. The first few days that H was with us he was quite shy around the baby. He didn’t really know what he was supposed to do around him. He had not really experienced a baby. He would look over H from a few feet away. After a day or two he got much closer and then started to stroke his head when H was sleeping. Now they are completely inseparable!

A’s perspective 

“We had just got into the car after school when mummy and daddy told us H was going to be coming to our house, I was very excited. I hadn’t seen him before and I didn’t know what he would look like. I was excited as it was a baby and I love babies”.

“When he arrived I saw he was a baby-baby. He was so tiny. We had a little hold with him and then we put him in the Moses basket in our front room”

“Mummy taught me things like how to pick the baby up, how to feed him. As he has got bigger I have helped teach him to walk and say words.”

Now H is 18 months old, the bond between our daughter and H is amazing. Just as strong as her relationship with her brother L.

“When I am sad he is there to cheer me up 🙂 and he has cute dimples that makes my heart light up” she wrote.

“We usually play running around games with him and sometimes he screams really loudly (happy screams!). We play with his toys which is fun”

“I love H because he is always there for me and never let’s me go. He plays with me a lot! He loves me back. He opens my heart out to the world. He acts like I’m his sister which is nice and he calls me Yaya!”

“I love H up to everything and back”

L’s perspective

 I’m not sure if you have tried to ask a 7 year old open questions and try to get lots of information out of them!? It’s hard work! I had a general chat with him whilst he was having a shower and wrote down what he said.

[When I found out H was going to move in with us] “I felt happy because we would get to see a new baby. I like new babies.”

“It was easy at the start and started to get harder as he got bigger. Getting him to bed and nappies were harder” (L never changed his nappy but saw us doing it!)

[When I found out H was going to be staying with us permanantly] I felt really good that he got to stay. I was very happy. He is so cute”

“I like that he is fun to play with. He plays nicely. I don’t like it when he cries.”

“I think [growing up with H] will become easier  as he will understand us better, he will listen and we won’t need to change his nappy when he’s big!”

“I see him as my little brother as he’s staying with us forever but I know he is actually my cousin”

“[When he’s bigger] we can make stuff together like puppets and play board games together. We might share a room when he’s bigger. That will be fun as he is cute. It will be interesting to hear his voice when he is bigger”.

Final comment

We couldn’t have asked for a better reaction than how they warmed to the whole situation. We have maintained openness and honesty with the kids. The questions have come up about H’s mum and we have tried to answer with enough information relevant to their understanding. 

They are children. They have their moments, like all children do. Neither of them like it when he cries. When he was ill they really struggled as well (we will tell you about that at another time).

A has been amazing. She will take it upon herself to get him dressed or prepare his breakfast in the mornings.

We will share a post later about the kid’s struggles during the lead up to getting the Special Guardianship Order as things manifested within the kids. We were going to include it here but on review we decided it was important and significant enough to have its own post.

When H first arrived, the first few weeks H would settle better with A than he would with us. It was incredible. We were obviously quite anxious and stressed at the beginning which obviously H picked up on. He felt safe in A’s arms.

We have awesome kids.

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