This is an approximate idea that I remember from one of the many booksabout parenting and introducing a baby to an older or older sibilings. The author made this clever comparison: how would a wife feel if the husband would show up home with a new, younger, ore beautiful wife. Would the wife number 1 be expected to instantly accept and love the new comer? Not that such scenario ever happens in real life, where everything is always perfect, but the idea was that older sibilings should not be expected to automatically love the new baby, just because we think they should.
The book on intriducing a baby to an older sibiling went on suggesting ways to convince the older child that having a baby sibiling carried advantages for her or him. For that reason, the parents were instructed to buy a present for the older chld and the first time the child meets the baby, the present should be given to the older sibiling as if coming from the baby.
In our case that didn’t go so well. We bought Eva’s favorite Seseme Street figurines and I kept telling her they were from baby Natalie, wasn’t that nice of her?
Eva looked stunned, and even at the young age of 24 months the look on her face said, “please, don’t insult my intelligence!” And she placed the ficurines right back in natalie’s crib.
Now back to introducing our new puppy, Lola, the process is not uch different. The unspoken question Duke and Sphie ask is, “what’s in it for us?” Clearly nothing! Now Lola wants to be on the bed in OUR spots, Lola gets more attention, Lola will definitely need to show us her worthiness!
Lola, who at the rescue behaved like an angel. I was worried she wouldn’t bark, once home showed us she knew how to growl when she didn’t like something and bark when she wanted something. She definitely is not a push over. In the short three days she’s been with us she managed to learn how to do steps and understood that if she quickly runs upstairs ahead of everyone and sits on my bed, it would be hard for us to get her off the bed. After all, human and dogs, we all have a heart!:)
So what’s in it for Duke and Sophie, now that I brought in a new sibiling? Sophie, who is 11 is energized and for the first time in years plays again. Duke, who is also a rescued dog, approximately 5 years old surprized me by showing the puppy he is still capable to steal her toys.
We have a saying in Romania, “a man’s love goes through his stomach.” Which means men like good food and appreciate women who cook well.
The same “food” principle applies to dogs but I don’t have to cook. Treats from petsmart are generously distributed to all the three of my companions, and having more treats seemed to help them to accept Lola as part of the family.
Oh! Let’s not forget Max, the African Grey parrot, who among many other strategies learn to bark to get attention. Max deserves a separate post!