Teens adjust to newborn siblings

Madison O'Brien and Casey Hamilton, staff reporter, staff reporter

“O-Patch, O-Patch!” begs the giggling toddler. At two years old, junior Chandler Farrell’s younger brother Vinny eagerly stands in the doorway of her room. His sister’s stash of Sour Patch Kids is no secret to him, and he can’t help but wiggle in anticipation for the sour candy.

Farrell is among other students at South who share the joys and setbacks of having a new family member added to the family during their high school career. Farrell’s first challenge was dealing with the announcement of her mother’s pregnancy.

“At first, I wasn’t really looking forward to [having a new sibling] because we’re in high school and I didn’t want to have to babysit all the time or be woken up by crying at night,” Farrell said. “But it was easy transitioning after the first couple of months.”

Besides worrying about the possible effects that a new baby could have on her family, Farrell felt feelings of discomfort and confusion regarding her brother’s birth.

“I didn’t see why,” Farrell stated. “[My siblings] are already in college and I’m going in a year, so it was stressful at first to deal with the fact that even when I leave home I’ll never really know him as well as my other siblings because I’m leaving when he’s going to be so young.”

Another South student who had to deal with the news of the arrival of her new half-brother Christopher, is junior Alex Piechowicz.

“It was a big change,” Piechowicz stated. “I was very immature about it and didn’t really want to see him for the first few months after he was born.”

Piechowicz’s outlook on the situation changed after she met Christopher for the first time.

“When I first met him, he was four months old and immediately I fell in love with him,” Piechowicz said. “[…] At first […] it was stressful, but I’ve learned to deal with it and I think that [the experience] has made me a more mature person.”

Besides getting used to being quieter around the house and constantly having to keep an eye on her little brother, Farrell experienced changes in her family dynamic.

“It was hard at first going from being the youngest child and getting all the attention to getting none of it with the baby around, but I’m definitely used to it now,” Farrell said.

After freshman Sam Garman’s younger brother and sister were born, she also noticed how this affected her family and home life.

“Sometimes I am asked to watch the kids and I will have other stuff planned or a lot of homework, and that can put some strain on our relationship,” Garman said. “Also, because they are so young, they are put first most of the time and there is a lot less attention on me.”

Among the changes to her family, freshman Danica Golmayo agrees that she learned to be more responsible after her younger sister’s birth.

For Garman, the age difference of 13 years between her siblings makes it challenging to form close relationships with them.

“I love them both, but it’s not really fun yet,” Garman said. “We don’t really talk that much and I think that makes it difficult to get along.”

Unlike Garman, Piechowicz says she has yet to feel the consequences of the age difference between her and her brother.

“He’s so little that I don’t think I’m going to feel the affects [of the age difference] until he’s older,” Piechowicz stated. “The best thing I can do is just try to be a good role model for him even though we’re 15 years apart.”

Looking to the future, Piechowicz hopes to keep her relationship strong with her brother.

“[My older brother and my parents] would definitely love for me to have a good relationship with him and want him to be a part of my life,” Piechowicz said.

Despite the challenges a large age difference has brought for Golmayo and her family, she could not imagine a day without her younger sister.

“Every time I am down, she puts a smile on my face,” Golmayo said.