Dear Jack: Your 1st Signs of Anxiety about Becoming a Big Brother

5 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack: Your 1st Signs of Anxiety about Becoming a Big Brother

Dear Jack,

A popular question people having been recently asking me is this:

“How is Jack handling the news about there being another baby on the way?”

I was always able to quickly and easily respond by telling them you are excited, and that with a 5 and a year difference, I predict there will be no real concern on your end about a sense of competition.

That changed this week.

Normally you are the happiest kid I know. But on Tuesday night, you were much different at the dinner table.

We had to take you up to bed early because you weren’t really eating and you were crying about (seemingly) nothing and everything all at once.

So we just assumed you didn’t take a nap at school and needed to get to bed sooner.

While that was true, there was more to it.

In your emotionally vulnerable state, you eventually told Mommy that night during bath time:

“I’m sad that you are excited about the baby.”

Just an hour or so before, Mommy and I had been doting over the cute, girly outfits that we had received in the mail for Holly.

You went on to tell Mommy: “I wish things could stay the same.”

When she replied you two would get to be together for the summer while she is on maternity leave, you said “Just me and you?”

I knew you are smart kid, but I was unaware at 5 years old that you are able to clearly express your anxieties and fears to us, in such a sober and direct way.

That’s emotional intelligence.

It’s not my attention and affection that you fear missing. It’s Mommy’s.

She and I talked about it more. It’s heartbreaking to see you this way, worrying that you’ll lose your relationship status with Mommy.

In some ways, there is reality in your fears of things changing when your sister gets here.

But at the same time, you have two parents who are proactively dedicated to making sure we help you with this transition.



Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby

22 weeks.

Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby

Dear Holly,

This week Mommy got your brother Jack a new book to help him transition into his upcoming “big brother” status: It’s called The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby; where Brother Bear gets a baby sister.

(By the way, you will be born into a family that greatly appreciates the folksy Jewish/Christian cultural perspective of the Berenstain Bears’ book collection.)

It’s important to me that I make sure your brother doesn’t feel left out when you get here. Whereas you’ll always know what it’s like to have a sibling, he will have 5 and a half years’ experience as an only child before that changes for him.

Mommy and I are going to be on the lookout for a special toy for him, upon your arrival; it likely will be a stuffed animal, as that’s the main thing he’s into.

My own parents did the same for me when my sister was born; I got a Garfield stuffed animal.

Similarly, last week Jack got you a doll for when you get here.

You are going to get so much attention from everyone once you arrive. You are our precious little girl.

I just want to make sure I do my best to proactively prevent this from being more difficult than it has to be as he soon will become a big brother.

Fortunately, he’ll be old enough to where I think it will work to his advantage; that he will be eager to use his “helper” skills.

Your personality will be formed, and his may be altered, as the two of you begin interacting; especially in your first couple of years together.

So as your Daddy, I feel responsible for creating the atmosphere and environment void as much as possible of competition, but instead, cooperation.

I think that this new Berentstain Bears book is a good way to help set the pace right.



P.S. Here’s a picture your brother Jack drew of our family so far. Before too long, he’ll be drawing 4 people.

Dear Holly: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby