It’s normal. Part of life. But teaching my kids to deal with the green-eyed monster has been a challenge.
For years Holden and Josi were upset over what they saw as special treatment of Aubry. Trying to explain the nuances and vastness of sensory spectrum disorder (SPD) to young kids was not an easy task. There were some things they did well – like following our commands of never taking anything from her unless it would hurt her or someone else. There were some they didn’t – like aggravating her futher when she was in sensory overload.
Time is the great equalizer. Eventually the jealously subsided as the kids grew older. They acquired compassion for their sister and understanding that SPD required different parenting and inter-sibling skills.
Jealousy came to the forefront again, as Aubry realized that her little brother received more attention than her. “Why does everyone think he’s so cute?”
My biased answer was that he was cute.
That answer bombed out with her, “I’m UGLY?!”
“Honey, you are beautiful and when you were little people made over you too. That’s what adults do sometimes,” I said.
I realized Aubry’s jealousy stemmed from her own insecurities about herself and also from the fact that they were so close. Too close. When with him and others, she felt invisible.
So Mark and I focused on building Aubry’s independence from Greyson, confidence in who she was and discovering her gifts.
At her request we put Aubry in swimming. It appears to be working – satisfying her sensory issues, promoting her independence and confidence in herself.
Aubry’s first meet was last weekend and she did well. “You’re coming? All of you? To watch me?”
The icing on the cake was her reaction after each of her heats. Looking up at us from the deck, her smirk grew into a huge smile as she saw thumbs up from her brothers and heard us yelling, “Way to go Aubry!”