Lately I have encountered a problem with the kids. They are both great, mind you. Felix is thisclose to figuring out walking. Bruno is probably a genius and might even use his powers for good most of the time. The problem is this: Felix is doing awesome things more often than Bruno does so Bruno has finally discovered jealousy. Picture my living room. Felix stands up, and this doesn’t happen often, so we clap and say “Yay Felix!” Bruno starts cheering, too, and then runs over to Felix to give a congratulatory hug and kiss… which is not all together helpful to a person who can barely stand, but it gets the attention back on Bruno. Or in response to the same thing, Bruno stands on one foot and says, “Hey look!” And them I’m forced to acknowledge Bruno’s cool trick but I never do it with the same enthusiasm that I’ve given Felix’s. And let’s face it, I shouldn’t anyway.
I praise Bruno. I do it all the time! When he creates amazing pictures of animals, when he shares nicely with his brother, when he cleans up his toys I always tell him how nice it was or how proud I am and how happy he makes me. He still wants more, it seems.
On the other hand, I feel like when I’m not praising Bruno, I am constantly correcting him, mostly in order to protect the toddler.
“Don’t grab his face!”
“Don’t come in the kitchen because he’ll follow you!”
“Don’t tickle so hard!”
“Don’t pull his arm!”
“Don’t try to pick him up!”
“Don’t take that toy away from him!”
“Let him play with the baby toys!”
“Don’t put that toy in his face!”
“Stop screeching at him!” Etc, etc, etc.
I don’t want Bruno to feel constantly chided. I don’t want him to feel like he’s always doing something wrong. He just doesn’t seem to understand that he needs to be a little gentler with Felix and that we still think he’s amazing, too.
Is there a children’s book for that?