Elana`s Ears, or How I Became the Best Big Sister in the Whole World
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Lacey’s life as an "only dog" changes the day Mom and Dad bring home a new baby, it is Lacey that realizes that Elana can’t hear.
Lacey's luxurious life as an "only dog" changes the day Mom and Dad bring home a new baby.
While Lacey goes through all of the confusion and upset that any child feels when presented with a new sister or brother, she eventually starts to like having baby Elana around, and even tries to teach her a favorite hobby: barking. But when Elana takes no notice of all the noise, Lacey realizes that Elana can't hear, and she vows to become "Elana's ears"—and the best big sister in the world.
With wry commentary, Lacey offers children a refreshingly honest and funny glimpse at parents, new babies, and growing toddlers. For parents, a comprehensive afterword by Jane Annunziata, PsyD, describes children's common responses to new siblings and offers extensive how-to recommendations for making the adjustment as easy as possible.
From the Note to Parents:
A new baby in the family is a source of joy for everyone. Older brothers and sisters usually welcome the arrival with their own brand of excitement, wonder, pride, caring, and affection, just as their parents do. At the same time, however, their world is changing in ways they don’t understand and can’t control, and along with such changes comes an array of less positive feelings, including:
- anger that they have to share Mom and Dad with someone else and that they are no longer the primary focus of their parents’ attention;
- jealousy toward this cute little person who is getting so much attention and admiration from so many people;
- resentment that the parents may not have the same amount of time and energy to devote to them;
- fears that Mom and Dad don’t love them as much, now that there is a new baby to “take their place” and love;
- confusion from of all of these competing and conflicting feelings.
When a new baby comes into the household, older children may express their negative feelings in a range of ways, including:
- regression, or behaving like a baby and wanting to be treated like one;
- acting out, such as throwing tantrums, pinching the baby, or breaking the baby’s toys or Mom’s and Dad’s things;
- trying to be the perfect child or the perfect big sister or brother.
These feelings and reactions can be intense—and they are entirely normal, if not inevitable.
A Note About Elana's Ears:
Hearing loss is one of the most frequent conditions to occur in newborns, and almost 15 percent of all school-age children have some degree of hearing impairment. Like Elana, the average age at which children in the United States are diagnosed with hearing loss is around two years. Studies show, however, that earlier detection and treatment greatly enhance a child’s ability to acquire language and social skills, and that children who receive appropriate treatment before the age of six months can develop these crucial life skills as well as their hearing peers. Many health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institutes of Health, therefore recommend that all children be screened for hearing loss at birth.