Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sad family

Yesterday I found this drawing on our kitchen counter.

I asked Zari to tell me about it. She pointed to each person and said that they were sad. Mama was sad because she had to ask Zari to get dressed too many times and she was frustrated. Zari was sad because she didn't listen to Mama. etc...

She definitely needs more positive interaction. Poor girl...


  1. How sad. :( At least she has a mother who understands exactly what she needs.

  2. Zari may be reacting to her new sister a little differently than you would imagine at first. I know this because I have several brothers both younger and older, but only one sister. I was six when she was born and reacted totally differently to her than any other baby that came into the house. There are so many emotions when a same sex sibling is born especially for a little girl who is used to having just a brother. She will one day cherish her little sister and they will be best of friends but first she has to figure out how this all fits into her life!

  3. The good news is that she feels comfortable expressing her emotions through art and telling you about them.

    And I agree, adding a new sibling always creates flux. It's when kids don't react that you should worry.

  4. I'm glad Zari was able to express what's going on inside through her artwork. I think you had mentioned something about encouraging this sort of expression before, and I have to say, I really like it. I don't have any kids myself, but I was always an artistic child, and I think a lot of my childhood frustrations could've been resolved a lot more satisfactorily if my family had taken the approach you have.

    Anywho, I just wanted to say that I love your blog, and reading about your family and the way you are with them is such a happy and comforting part of my day.

    Hi to Eric, Zari, Dio, and little Inga!

  5. Poor sweet little Zari! I didn't want Sarah or Reed to get this way with Lizzie so I always refer to Lizzie as "his baby" or "her baby" I will say "Sarah run and get your baby a diaper!" Or to Reed, " Muffin, hold your baby's hand while I wash her hair" It helps them feel included, not as if they gave birth, but as it is Their baby sister, after a while I just started leaving the sister part off. Get them involved with Inga maybe ask Zari to pick out her outfit and one that she thinks mathes for Inga. Or tell her if she gets dressed fast she can hold her first. The FIRST thing works good for us because there is always competition! LOL ALWAYS! When Lizzie would look at them as a new born I would say "she is looking at you because she loves you!" If you tell them the baby loves them they will feel special. I got all this from a book I read and am trying to think my darndest what it was called. 5 months post pregnancy and I still have baby brain! Hope it helps! Much love, Lisa.

  6. Lisa in Canada3/16/11, 11:03 PM

    Rixa, you're gut is telling you what to do! You just need to work on your relationship with Zari. She isn't feeling attached and if she is not feeling attached, she won't have the instinct to listen to you, to be good for you, etc, etc. You need to strengthen your attachment. The best way to help her feel attached is to provide for her needs, to take care of her! I know that is such a tough thing right now, with a newborn, and you know she can do things for herself, but if you do them for her for awhile, she'll find her independence again. Bribes and rewards may work in the short term, but they will not in the long term. The only thing that ever "works" is to strengthen and deepen your relationship. Tell her about all the things that make her special to you, tell her stories about her and her place in your family, always remind her of the next time you'll see her/connect with her if there is a separation.

    You can also talk to her about mixed feelings. She can't actually feel two feelings at the same time (that doesn't start to develop until sometime between the ages of 5-7), but you can still talk about it. Talk about all the good feelings she as for Inga, you, Dio, Eric but then also talk about the feelings of frustration she might have (maybe when Dio takes a toy away, maybe when you tell her to stop playing and do x). It will help her be able to actually feel them at the same time when her brain is ready!

  7. When my brother was born (I was 1 1/2) my father would take me on an hour long walk every day after work to make me feel special. My parents said it worked. Maybe Eric could help!

    I love reading your blog. My husband and I are gearing up to start a family soon and it is a wonderful resource.


  8. just remember what you read in free range ... kids are resilent, do what your instincts tell you but don't feel guilty one bit

  9. Whenever there is change, all involved have to adjust and I think it's great that Zari is expressing herself and that you're there to listen and acknowledge her feelings.

    You're doing just fine. :-)

  10. With a new baby... take small bites. This likely feels like a really big deal. But kids have big emotions and a big heart to deal with them too. They are amazingly forgiving and resilient. As moms we can feel guilty so very easily and I find this usually makes the situation worse... Then we do things because we feel guilty and then it's often more of a power issue. Our children see they've found our weak point (and they have!) but it doesn't seem to help much, for me at least... I heard a mom of many once say that she makes sure she has a moment with each child every day, and when that guilt tries to creep in she dwells on the lovely moment. I've found that with my children too (I have 5). Little things like, looking them in the eyes more often. Whispering when I'm frustrated instead of raising my voice. Touching and holding hands every possible moment. It's those little things that I find soothe those tiny crushed spirits. Going out for a plate of fries (big treat at my house) with just mom or dad too... But I find the biggest is just looking them in the eye more often... good luck. Don't be too hard on yourself, you're a good mom!

  11. What a heartbreaking little note/picture! :O( You've been given great advice already and are doing a great job on your own knowing what needs to be done and how to do it. Keep your chin up. :O)


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