The Love of a Sibling

Yesterday was the first day of Chinese New Year and the extended family came to visit.  One of the aunts saw Gareth, fell in love with him and wanted to take him home with her.  In jest, she turned to Gavin and said, “Can I take Titi home?  I’m going to take your Titi home, okay?”

Gavin’s eyes went wide and he flew into a panic.  “No!  You can’t!  Titi stays here.  Put him back!”  Then he ran to me and insisted that I take Gareth away from her.

I have always feared the jealousy of sibling rivalry and what it might lead to.  As such, I have often tried to instill into Gavin the importance of family – that he and Gareth are brothers and both need to look after each other and protect each other.

There have been times when Gavin has been very rough with his brother and I worried that he might intentionally be wanting to hurt his brother out of jealousy of the attention that he receives.  Watching the protectiveness of Gavin over Gareth really warmed my heart.  Now I know that his playing is simply that – a toddler playing with his baby brother and not knowing his own strength. There is no desire to hurt, just a desire to be affectionate.

It reminds me of my brother’s protectiveness over me when I was little and the relationship that we’ve shared over the years.  I hope Gavin and Gareth will share that kind of bond as they grow up together.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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