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Psychology Loves Big Sisters ...

Psychology says that during the child’s second year of life, he or she begins to develop prosocial behaviors, such as helping, sharing, and responding empathetically to emotional distress in others (Craig and Dunn, 2010). According to the study, toddlers’ ability to soothe a parent or other person is created by observing the behavior of their mothers and caregivers: if the caregiver responds with empathy when the child is in distress, so will the child. This study somehow made me proud of myself, of my job as an older sister. It reminded me of all the times when I’ve cried and my toddler sister has come to comfort me. There was this time when she even cried because I was sad. I always thought her caring soul was part of her personality, but now it seems Mom and I have had a say in this. Could it be that we are, after all, good caregivers? Could it be that we’ve managed to suppress our bad behavior and pass along to Cookie something as beautiful as caring for others? Will the same happen with my passion for books and languages? And will she also imitate the bad things? Probably so, which means we’d better behave well from now on. But I am responsible for a little good in my sister’s heart, and that is enough to erase some of my mistakes.


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