My youngest son Max has just become a little more mobile and a little more forceful about it. He adores his older brother Luc, and everything he does--which means that he grabs his toys, uses him to climb higher on to other furniture, and recently has been eating his food. This may, or may not be a problem for Luc. I am concerned that he's treating Max (who will eat anything and everything) like the new puppy in the house and getting rid of his unwanted dinner.
Recently I've heard a slew of, "he keeps wrecking it," "he ripped it," "he keeps bothering me," "he keeps taking my toy."
Don't Make Light of the "Heavy"
When Max damages something, I try and repair the item however I can. Sometimes it's tape, sometimes it's a trip to the bookstore for another copy of the favorite book, and recently it was as easy as downloading a new map off the Internet. The point is that I don't make light of it. I let Luc know that I feel badly his item has been damaged and I try hard to fix it as soon as possible. If it's a big deal to Luc, it's a big deal to me (within reason).
Who is Wrong?
We don't reprimand Max because Max is 9 months old. I point this out to Luc that he's just a baby and that's what babies do. I do tell Max (when I make a preemptive strike) that he can't play with Luc's breakable objects because "they're for big boys.. not babies." I also remind Luc that if he doesn't want Max to get something, he'd better take care to keep it away from him.
The biggest thing is that I have been teaching my older son Luc that sometimes things break, rip, or get crumpled and everything is still all right. I've also been working with Luc to show him how to distract Max. The bottom line is that Max just wants to be with Luc. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw Luc get up from playing with his batman and get Max another batman for him to hold.
2004 Claudine M. Jalajas
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