Emma’s per­son­al­ity is shining through but it’s leav­ing her brother scared


Llanelli Star - - FAMILY MATTERS - Richard IRVINE

IT’S early days, but Emma seems to be emerg­ing as the dom­i­nant char­ac­ter.

What I mean by ‘dom­i­nant char­ac­ter’ also has the less char­i­ta­ble de­scrip­tion of ‘bully’.

A child psy­chol­o­gist might say a few key themes are emerg­ing.

Thomas was cry­ing the other night, so I went up­stairs to in­ves­ti­gate.

I opened the door to find Emma in her cot, sur­rounded by all of her and Thomas’ cud­dly toys, hold­ing his dummy.

She smiled and passed me the dummy in a help­ful man­ner.

‘How nice’, I thought de­spite her hav­ing stripped Thomas of ev­ery­thing he holds dear.

Pos­si­bly the more wor­ry­ing as­pect is the du­plic­ity.

She’s ma­nip­u­lated the sit­u­a­tion by say­ing, ‘no idea what’s wrong with him, I’m here to of­fer as­sis­tance, none of this is my creation’.

A few days later, it was af­ter­noon snack time in the kitchen. They’re free to roam dur­ing ca­sual din­ing times, so Emma and Thomas col­lected their salt-free, or­ganic, homemade fish fin­ger and went to find a nice spot to eat it.

I watched as Thomas ran un­der the ta­ble, crawled un­der a chair and crouched in the cor­ner where he hur­riedly ate his bland fish treat. I smiled and thought ‘what a char­ac­ter’.

Only then did I no­tice Emma had fin­ished hers and was

prowl­ing, scan­ning the vicin­ity in a style not un­like The Ter­mi­na­tor.

She was look­ing for him and his snack and he was scared of his own sis­ter steal­ing from him.

It all fell into place.

We thought it was charm­ing how Thomas col­lects toys and hides in the cor­ner of the liv­ing room, ob­scured by the foot stool.

The ter­ri­ble truth is that he’s act­ing out of fear, scared his own sis­ter will aggressive­ly de­prive him of his toys.

I also re­alised, when he had a toy and she spot­ted him, he moved closer to me for pro­tec­tion.

Although, the truth is, she’s quite an in­tim­i­dat­ing char­ac­ter and of­ten the eas­i­est thing is to hide in a cor­ner with Thomas.

Emma was run­ning the house like the Krays-op­er­ated London in the 1960s, although with fewer mur­ders, to be fair.

It was time for a re­think. Could we, as par­ents, have done any­thing dif­fer­ently? We’d paid them equal at­ten­tion, hadn’t we? There was cer­tainly no favouritis­m.

She was born first so is the old­est. She was also born a lot big­ger than Thomas and re­mains a lit­tle chunkier.

Maybe this is the nat­u­ral hi­er­ar­chy upon which all early life is based.

It’s ei­ther that or women are bossy.

Are girls more dom­i­neer­ing?

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