How do you handle your toddler asking about a sibling they may never have - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-25-2003, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lately, Sam has been saying he wants a little brother. He is fairly specific about wanting a brother. A sister just won't do it. I find this pretty funny. Unfortunately, this is a physical impossiblity for dear old mom and dad. His conception ranks up there with miraculous.

We have thought about adopting, but now is really not a good time are a little intimidated about the hoops you need to jump through.

Has anyone faced this issue? What did you say?
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Old 01-25-2003, 07:40 PM
 
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Funny you should mention this! Ava's birthday is 03-01-00, and SHE has just started talking about her "brothers and sisters".

I think it's just imagination play at this point, but now I wonder! We haven't been using bc for several months, but we had to have intervention to conceive last time...so we may need to again!

I'll be watching the post for more answers.
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Old 01-25-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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I wish I had some "tried and true" answers for you, alas only support. My DH and I have decided that our DS will be an only, based both on circumstance and personal choice. I do imagine that someday he will ask I think I will do my best to just explain to him the reasons why he will not have siblings. I will also take care to explain that it's not the number of family members that make a family complete, rather WHO those people are that make up a family.

Other than that, I think I may do some reading about different and sensitive ways to approach this subject. I know there are some books about bringing up only children, however I have not read any as of yet.

Best of luck to you.

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Old 01-25-2003, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the kind notes. Embee, I think your point is excellent and very true. Family does have many meanings.


I could always try to explain that if he had a brother, he would have to share his toys, the clothes he doesn't wear anymore, and time with mommy and daddy. I don't want to spoil him against the thought of a sibling, because it could happen. Not anytime really soon, but possibly in the next 5 years. It all depends when dh finishes the degree he is working on, gets a job and we get back into the swing of things financially.

Shohanee, maybe it IS an age thing. I should ask my mom if I was asking for a little sister at this age. I don't really remember what I asked for. I do remember that I got a little sister `1 month after my 3rd birthday. That I remember very very well. It was my first trip away from home to visit my aunt and when I got back, there was a crib, a changing table and all this baby stuff, not to mention my sister the forever squirming one. Mom belted her to the table to change her because she always rolled to the left and almost ended up in a pile of laundry once.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-25-2003, 10:55 PM
 
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.I could always try to explain that if he had a brother, he would have to share his toys, the clothes he doesn't wear anymore, and time with mommy and daddy.

I would caution against saying that to him. That almost seems as though you are encouraging greediness and discouraging sharing, although I know that isn't what you mean.

I would probably just explain that it isn't how many people are in a family, but how much they love each other. That families come in different sizes, and your family size right now is to only have one child. I also think you should read up on approaches to this. I am just cautioning against saying things like "if you had a brother or sister you would have to share."

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Old 01-26-2003, 04:18 AM
 
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mirlee, my 2.5 year old ds just recently started in on this with me. He regularly asks about other kids' siblings like this," Do you know who S's brother is? It's T. Do you know who my brother is?" "Who?" "I have none." It makes me sad for him, but we're as of yet undecided about another child...so, no advice for you, but we're right there with ya. And it might have something to do with the age, though I never thought about it!
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Old 01-26-2003, 06:15 AM
 
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My 4 year old son has recently starting asking for a little sister. He has a 2 year old brother, they LOVE each other. But he also has a 1 year old girl cousin. He really wants his very own sister. We are thinking about having another child but if it's a boy, I don't know if he'll forgive us!

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Old 01-26-2003, 02:41 PM
 
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The feeling of brother and sister can come from outside the family. Depending on your child's age I would talk about how family is the people you feel closest to, and encourage him/her to call a good friend a brother or sister. (maybe she/he has a friend who is also an only child who would like to also be a brother or sister.)

Another thing: watching Arthur (a PBS cartoon) the other day, a story about a girl who wanted a brother or sister: she tried out her friends, her friends' siblings, male, female, older, younger, etc and as she complained to her parents she wanted a sibling, and they tried to come up with a way to handle it, they finally "adopted" or "sponsored" a child in need in a third world country who she could call her brother, write letters to, learn all about, etc. I thought that was a very fun way for an only child to have a brother.
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:47 PM
 
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I am the youngest of 4. The one cloesest to me in age is almost 10 years older, so I felt like I was in a houseful of parents!

I don't know how old I was, but I remember asking repeatedly for a younger brother or sister. I didn't care which. I just wanted someone to boss around.

My mother would just listen, keep me busy with enjoyable activites, (not to say busybusy - sometimes the activity was just free time and a chance to make believe I was the queen of a castle) and I got over it.
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