Breathe in Focus, Hold, Think.  Breathe out.  Smile and say “Ahhhhh” or thank you.

To launch is defined as “to set in motion, to propel with force, hurl, to release or to send off.  Every child is released from the womb and sent off into the world.  But children get launched in so many  ways and their progress, their strength goes beyond beauty to awe-inspiring. So I will be doing a week on children launching into life.  Today is Sibling Launch Day

Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago – the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled.  

Jane Mersky Leder. American author

THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS PICTURE  Siblings  launch siblings; Younger Siblings launch an only child into a whole new world.  Thought this picture of my grands caught that.  Birth order is considered a molder of who we become.  Only children experience different lives than children with brothers and sisters.

I often crank about parent education books.  One of my favorite laughable parent advice book titles is called Siblings Without Rivalry.  Liar, liar. Cannot have siblings without rivalry.   Am I cranking about books that promise easy answers.  Right.

Jerome Kagan, my favorite student of children, a Harvard Professor and author of many books.  His Nature of the Child  is the one that helped me survive becoming a parent and a foster parent.   In terms of siblings, Kagan says, shape who we are.  He also believes a sibling brings on  the emotion of shame.

Most therapists put the blame for shame on parents.  Kagan does not.  He  views shame  a necessary human emotion designed to prevent the sin of Cain–killing a sibling. He points out that just as soon as a child has the power to kill smaller, weaker thing.  That tends to happen all across the world when younger siblings become  big enough  to mess with older sibling’s toys and things.  Kagan believes  shame helps quash older child’s wish to throttle, if not kill a meddling sibling.

I am a cranky old lady, but I also do not throw out good stuff from bad books.  Siblings Without Rivalry gives the best description of what it must feel  like to a young child being told “We loved you so much, we just had to have another baby.”   The book suggests considering how you would feel if your child’s other parent said, “I loved you so much I just had to go get another mate.”  Fuel for the sin of Cain.

The book is part of the parenting school that thinks to understand and acknowledge a child’s feelings automatically leads to good behavior.  Taken to an extreme.  Help.  Probably works best in teens who have been taught right from wrong.    Does not work with toddlers, pre-schoolers, and tweeners.  Then a parent has to teach the child self-control.  Siblings help with that task and that is a major way one child launches another.

STAYING STRONG TIP:  Kindness moves the world toward peace.  Bad news, in every one of us, kindness  competes with lots of other needs.  Good news, it is a skill and the more you practice skills the stronger they grow.  So practice kindness toward others.  Compliment strangers, do a favor for a friend, apologize even if you aren’t 100% in the wrong.

Finally, you practice kindness for you, it dampens the flames of jealousy and anger that can grow like weeds if not countered.

Share, like, and care and help me, yourself, and others get and stay strong.

IMAGE BY: By one of my Grand’s Parents.

Don’t let me be a tiresome Cranky Old Lady, and just focus on my kids and grands.  Follow Chris’ example.  E-mail me some pictures of a child launching into something send it to me as  jig peg attachment at [email protected]

It has to be your picture and to let me know how to identify you.  For reasons of privacy and safety, I will not name the children.


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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