A new baby is coming – story for 5-8year olds

To help young children accept the idea of having a new baby brother or sister.

A New Baby is Coming 

When mother told Susan that she was going to have another baby, Susan felt both pleased and concerned about the news. If her mother had a baby would she still have time for Susan? Would she love Susan just as much?

Susan was worried

Susan was worried

How could she? Surely she would have to share her love between three children instead of two and there would not be as much love for Susan? This worrying thought took Susan to her father who was busy mending the car.  

“What is the trouble, Susan? You look rather upset. Why do you frown so?”  

“Daddy,” she said. “When Mummy has the new baby, will she still love us just as much? I can’t see how she will be able to. She will have to share her love with all three of us and with you too!”  

“Ah, so that is your big problem for today. Well, Susan, certainly Mummy will have to share her time between the three of you. That is true. But love is different from time.

There are only so many things you can fit into a day, before you run out of time.

But love is different. Love is like a colour, or like the warm wind. It just is. It surrounds you, like the blue of the sky. If someone else sits next to you, you still see just as much sky, don’t you? You still feel the warm wind whether you are by yourself, or with other people. The wind is not used up because there are more people. The wind is still there just as much.  

Mummy loves you and your brother. She did not love him less when you were born. He did not lose Mummy’s love when you came along, but he gained someone else to love himself. When this baby is born, do you think Mummy will stop noticing whether you arehappy or sad? Or if you have a splinter in your finger, will she say,

‘Go away, Susan, I am loving the baby at the moment’?  

“No. She will care for you just as before. She will always love you the same because you are her daughter and you have a place in her heart. You can show her how much you love her by helping her with little jobs around the house and then she will have more time to show you how she loves you.

“So don’t worry, my girl. You will not be forgotten when this baby is born and you will discover how nice it is to love babies. You will feel a lot of love for your new brother or sister. You will find that you enjoy holding the baby and playing with it when it is big enough.

Babies are very good at loving and they love everyone who loves them. Their smiles are one of the sweetest things in the world.” 

Susan smiled a big smile. She felt happy again.

QUESTIONS:

1. How did you feel when you heard the story?

2. Did it remind you of anything?

3. What was Susan worried about?

4. When she told her father about it, what did he say to her?

5. Do you think mothers will love their children less when a new baby is born?


First published in SSEHV, education in human values   www.bisse.org.uk

 

Overcoming the cycle of sexual abuse, from an abuser

I was asked by a mental health therapist to write a story to help a client who had suffered from sexual assault.  This story is what came to me in meditation from a woman in America.  I hope it is helpful.

Our Special Secret

When I was a kid my ma and pa were strict as hell. They never spoke about sex. It was a forbidden subject in our house. My parents had six children and we were poor. My pa started interfering with me when I was twelve. He said Ma had had enough of him. He started very gentle like and what he did to me felt nice, but kind of scary, ’cause before that he would whop us and tell us not to be so dirty. I felt confused. I loved my pa, and when he started stroking me it made me feel real good. He said it had to be our ‘special secret’. In our house there never was much to go round and my pa would give me extra little treats to keep me on his side I guess. Well soon we had a real big secret together. I wanted the treats and he made me feel so special and nice, I thought I was real lucky. But I knew something was wrong and I wasn’t sure what. The secret became so important it seemed to become the biggest thing in my life.

One day my younger sister came to me and told me she was worried about Pa. He had started to do things to her that she didn’t like. She said a friend in school had a brother who did things to her and he was sent away for being a real bad person. My sister was afraid that our pa would be sent away.

I felt jealous of my sister and worried too. I told her to tell Pa not to do it. I said I would speak to Pa about it. I asked her if she liked what Pa was doin’ to her. She said she kind of liked it but it made her afraid. I said I would stroke her instead of Pa and because I was a girl it would be all right. So she told Pa about her friend’s brother and Pa didn’t bother her anymore. I started stroking my sister and found she was lovely and soft and warm, not like Pa, he was rough and hairy. I found the fear and excitement of doing something I knew was wrong was quite a thrill.

Eventually Pa died and I married. My sister and I kept our childhood secret. My husband was rough and hairy just like Pa. When my babies were born I loved to touch their skin. I touched them far too much and not in ways that a mother should touch her children. I was reminded of my sister. I knew I should not be touching them the way I did and eventually they were taken away from me. I never wanted to hurt them. I could not explain to anyone why I did what I did to them. Everyone thought I was filth and I guess I was. To me it was the only way I could find to satisfy my needs. I was broken up when they were taken away from me. I was so sorry that they had to have foster parents. I now know that I did a great wrong to them and to my sister,  just as my pa did a great wrong to me. I  hope against hope that they do not become abusers in their turn.

Gaining Strength from Inner Peace – story about doing the right thing (therapeutic story for adults)

 

 

Francoise uses her imagination

 

 

Francoise gazed across the street.  She could see trams trundling along, filled with the workers on their way to offices in the city.  A feeling of discontentment came over her.  There she was, compelled to stay at home and care for her aged mother.

 

“Francoise!” A tremulous voice interrupted her train of thought.  “Francoise, my bottle, it’s cold.  Will you fill it up for me, dear?”

 

I’m coming, Mother, just a moment.”

 

She continued to stare out of the window at the world outside.  Not for her the world of work; not anymore.  She had been a teacher until last year when her mother had fallen ill had come to live with her and Jan, her husband,.  She had always agreed with her mother that should the need arise her home would be open to ‘Grandmere’.  When her children had been young Francoise’ mother looked after them while Francoise was teaching in the local school.  It had been a great help to her.  She had been able to earn enough money so that she and Jan could buy their own house and take the family on holidays. 

 

The family had all left home, the youngest only last year, and Francoise had been looking forward to some time for herself; for her and Jan.

 

“What bliss,” she had thought, “I shall be able to work part time and perhaps paint my landscapes, and maybe even sell some.”

 

But it was not to be, not yet at least.  Francoise sighed and made a mental note that she must purchase some more coffee, and the detergent for the weekly wash was nearly finished.  That too must be added to her list. 

 

Drawing her hand across her brow to smooth the tense lines from her forehead, she walked over to the half-open door that led to her mother’s room.  It had been their dining room, but now her mother lived permanently in it.  Francoise sighed again as she pushed open the door to her mother’s room.  There lay the old lady.  She smiled as her daughter appeared in the doorway. 

 

“Ah, Francoise, there you are.  I was just thinking, it would be nice to have a lobster today would it not?  Take money from my purse and go to the market and buy one, there’s a dear.

 

Francoise looked at her mother.  She was very frail for her seventy -six years.  She almost looked transparent.  She still loved to think about food and to plan delicious meals, but when it came to eating them, she could only manage a little thin soup. 

 

Very well, mother, I’ll make lobster bisque for lunch.  Give me your bottle and I’ll heat it up for you…”

 

Francoise knew that neither could they afford to buy a lobster nor could her mother eat it.  But the old lady must be humoured.  Why argue?  She picked up the purse lying on the bedside table. In it were a few coppers.  Unnoticed by her mother Francoise put a ten-franc note into the purse.  She always topped up her mother’s money when she could.  It enabled the old woman to feel that she could treat the family to special things every so often.  Sometimes Francoise would buy the much desired treat, and at other times she would pretend she had, and would show her mother the empty packet or bottle, or in this case, lobster shell, and say how much they had all enjoyed her present.  This pleased Grandmere, being unable to participate in these delicacies, she was none the wiser.

 

Francoise tiptoed away from the room where her mother now lay asleep.  There was time to go to the market and buy some vegetables for the main meal.  No meat today as they could not afford it.  She would shake some fish sauce from a bottle into the soup, and ‘lobster bisque’ it would become.

 

When Jan returned that evening, Francoise was looking rather low in spirit. 

“Try not to let it get you down,” he said, giving her a squeeze.  “Is there not something you could do here at home, while she sleeps.  She seems to be sleeping more and more these days.”

“ I’ll try to think of something, Jan,” replied his wife, “I certainly can’t keep cleaning the house all day every day, it’s beginning to wear me down.  I must do something else.  I miss my colleagues at school so much and the children of course.  I’ll have a long think about it.  I do need something else in my life apart from Mother.  She sleeps so much and when she’s awake she’s only half-aware of what she’s saying.  She remembers so little these days.  I need other company sometimes.  I do wonder occasionally whether she’d be better of in a home for the elderly, but she’d probably hate it.  I don’t think I would feel happy if I sent her away.

 

“You must do what you think is right,” replied her husband, but try to feel good about it and don’t resent her presence.  I’m sure you’ll think of something else to do in between looking after mother.

 

Francoise smiled, “I should be able to.  After all it’s an ideal opportunity to work by myself, undisturbed for most of the time.”

 

That night as Francoise lay drifting towards sleep, a picture came into her mind.  She would set up her paints in a corner of the living room.  She would paint peoples’ portraits.  It was a dream she had had as a young woman, but because she needed to earn a good living she had chosen teaching instead.  Now, she realised, she could choose again.

 

She would not charge much to begin with.  She knew her colleagues from school would love to have portraits of themselves or their children.  Yes! That is what she would do.  She became quite excited.  She had to wake Jan to tell him about her plans.

He knew they could live on his earnings, if somewhat frugally. 

 

Jan greeted her idea with enthusiasm. 

 

The next day Francoise went up into the loft and brought down some old canvasses.  They just needed to be re-primed with paint, and she would be ready to go.  She thought the first picture she would paint would be of her mother, asleep.  She made a very still sitter.

 

Francoise was thrilled with the result.  She had embued her mother’s face with a sense of great peacefulness.  She felt a strong sense of compassion and fellow feeling for her mother.  She was glad she would not be sending her away.

For herself she had found peace of mind by doing what she felt was right and not resenting it.  She had found a way of using her time in an enjoyable and creative way, a way that could eventually bring some extra income to the family.

 

The picture of her mother won an award at the town’s annual exhibition of portrait paintings;  it was so unusual and so full of sensitive appreciation of the subject.

 

Francoise never regretted the time when she cared for her mother.  Her children now with offspring of their own said that it had changed her life for the better in so many ways.  Instead of being the anxious teacher, always busy, she now painted most days, and attended lectures and exhibitions and her work was much appreciated by the many folk whose portraits she painted.

 

This story is published in SSEHV,  free lesson plans in Human Values.  Click on the link at the top of this page to find more.