My name is George, and I’m going to tell you a story that happened last year just after my birthday. For a few months, I had noticed that mum and dad were acting differently towards me – they weren’t paying me so much attention.
My parents were very happy; they laughed a lot, and even my father, who is quite serious, wouldn’t stop cracking jokes to everyone. I just couldn’t understand why they were behaving so differently. Maybe it had to do with my mum’s growing tummy…
One day at breakfast, they said to me: “George, we’ve got some good news for you; you’re going to have a little sister!”
“A little sister? So… that’s what’s wrong with you!” I said.
“What do you mean?” Dad asked.
“Well, you’ve been ignoring me because you’re going to have another baby!” I said.
Then they put their arms around me and told me they loved me just as much as ever and that even though I would have a sister, that would never change. But they changed, lots…
When Clare was born, it was like I was invisible. Mum and dad only paid me attention to scold me for not having finished my homework before dinner, or for not eating my peas. Day after day, it was like my parents had forgotten about me completely and they only had time for Clare.
One day at school in language class, the teacher came to my desk to see how I was getting on with the exercise, and told me: “Everything all right, George? You look sad…” For the first time in months, someone was worried about me, so I confided in her: “Yes, Miss, ever since my sister was born, my parents have been ignoring me.” Then Miss said: “You don’t have to be sad about that, George. Remember that Clare is just a baby and she’ll need a lot of care until she’s a little older. Don’t worry, your parents love you just the same, or even more!”
The next day, Dad was waiting for me at the school gates, but he wasn’t alone – my teacher was talking to him. I don’t know what she said to him, but from that day on, my parents started behaving towards me the same as they always had.
So I hope my story helps parents to understand that the love and attention we children need is always the same, no matter what.