"I bought the book, “Siblings Without Rivalry” on the recommendation of a friend (I have a 9-month-old and a three year old), and I’ve started to thumb through it out of curiosity. However, my three year old seems largely happy to have a baby sister, and I’ve not observed much distress on her part other than an occasional potty accident (she trained after the baby was born) that seemed intentional, and some brief episodes of jealously, mostly involving grandparents. The thing that concerns me is that every thing that I’ve read on the topic of sibling adjustment seems to suggest that the older sibling is going to go through significant adjustment, which includes acting out against the baby, saying hateful things about the baby, etc. Is my child repressing? Am I just lucky? Is this within the realm of normal? I would be interested in other peoples’ experiences…"
There are all sorts of possibilities here:
1) Your kids haven't read the book, so they don't know to act out.
2) You're just lucky, and for whatever reason (personality, energy, etc.) your older one isn't having trouble adjusting to her new sister.
3) The older one is going to have more problems adjusting later on, when the baby is mobile and starts getting into her stuff.
4) Something else.
I think as long as you keep talking about things so your older one knows she can tell you what she feels, positive or negative, and you know that things could get worse, you'll be fine. Some kids don't seem to have problems with a new baby, but really feel infringed upon by a mobile toddler. Or maybe she'll just never have a problem with her. The important thing is that she knows she can express her feelings to you and you'll accept her and help her through them.
Oh, and definitely read the whole book. Concepts from it (especially the chart about when to intervene in a fight) will come to you for years at important moments.
Did anyone else have an older child who never displayed much jealousy? Or an older sibling who had delayed adjustment problems? Please share your experiences.