Obviously the arrival of the new baby involves a difficult readjustment for the older child, one which involves time and thought, and he is clearly concerned lest he lose his mother’s affection and close attention.
After weaning, this is probably the most difficult crisis the child has to meet, and is in a way a second weaning. The situation needs to be handled with great tact, and the child needs every assurance of his mother’s continuing love and care. Defiance and independence denotes a healthy stage of emotional growth, and the etiology of the temper tantrum which occurs rather frequently at this time is discussed later in these pages. Here again wise and considerate handling is necessary if this type of behaviour is not to persist beyond the baby stage, and parents should recognize that this bid for independence and rebellion against adult domination is a normal stage of growing up. Co-operation and friendliness, of course, occurs at all stages of social growth, but usually it is not until after three years of age that they become the child’s habitual response to adults. It seems as if the child must experiment first anal prove that adults are kind, loving and reassuring before he feels safe to love them without fear of repulse or loss.