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  • Genevieve Anand Shares Some Cool Tips On Preparing An Older Child For A New Baby And Handling Sibling Rivalry
Genevieve Anand Shares Some Cool Tips On Preparing An Older Child For A New Baby And Handling Sibling Rivalry

Genevieve Anand Shares Some Cool Tips On Preparing An Older Child For A New Baby And Handling Sibling Rivalry

16 Jun 2022 | 8 min Read

Manisha Pradhan

Author | 83 Articles

An entrepreneur, a content creator and a mom to two beautiful daughters Twisha and Keisha. Besides being all of these, she also runs an organisation called Kutumb Kala where her mission is to uplift Indian folk artists and also spends her free time indulging in DIYs.

She calls herself a crazy mom and when I ask her how she handles sibling rivalry she says “Just take a tub of popcorn and enjoy the show!” Yes, that’s Genevieve Anand for you; cool and calm.

In an interesting conversation with BabyChakra, she shares her tips on handling two kids without having to pull her hair out! 

Read on to know more about how Genevieve handles sibling rivalry and how she prepared her older daughter who was only 18 months old when the younger sibling was born. 

According to Genevieve, kids need to learn to know themselves and their likes and dislikes before anything else

Let’s start by telling our readers about yourself and what you do.

There is a lot that can be said about me. But what defines me is ‘One part entrepreneur. One part content creator. And a whole lot of mother.’

Gen as an entrepreneur

I am the founder of Kutumb Kala. An organisation with a mission to help uplift the life of the Indian folk artists. Kutumb Kala was born during the lockdown when I was juggling with the content creation and keeping the girls entertained. 

What began as a project to teach Twisha and Keisha about Indian art, soon metamorphosed into a deep, thought-provoking journey. I realised that traditional Indian art and its artists are in a dire state. Kutumb Kala is a dream born out of supporting Indian tribal artist and making life better for them

Genevieve loves to sing, dance and do every little thing with her daughters

Gen as a content creator

This journey began when T was just a year old. I saw Instagram as a platform to document my emotions towards the girls. What can be a better way to keep a time capsule than the internet? It started as letters to my girls under the #LettertoTandK has now become a platform for letting my creative angle take flight. 

After almost 5 years, today, it is not just about the girls. The page is about me, a mom to two under two and my journey as a mother. And it only makes me feel humbled when people reach out to me and take advice about different stages in life.

Gen as a Mom

I am as crazy as it can get. I sing with the girls. Dance with them and for them. Trouble them a lot. Shout at them and at times, inch close to bullying them too. But that is because Sneh and I are very clear that the best education in life is life itself. 

Book knowledge can come, but they need to learn to know themselves and their likes and dislikes. Everything else can follow. And this is something we have learnt from our parents. Albeit strict, they have been supportive to us our entire life. And they did it the best as the time allowed. We have just taken it to the next level. 

You are mum to two daughters. What is the age difference between them?

I was barely 25 when I first held T. So small and so fragile, I was too scared to even pick her up. But then my ObGYN said, ‘first child for you and the second child for the first one.’ And that led us to try for K. 

With just 18-months apart, there is literally no age-gap between them. While initially it looked daunting and scary, looking back, it was the best decision. The girls are not just siblings, they are the best friends for each other. And it was certainly a boon for us during the lockdown. Which forged a much stronger bond between the girls as they were literally joined at the hip.

Genevieve says her daughters are not just siblings but also best friends

How did you prepare your older daughter for the arrival of her sibling?

Twisha was just 18 months old. A toddler in arms and another in womb. I barely had time to prepare her. However there were a few things we did for Twisha. Toplines of what we did are:

  1. Getting T to name her younger sibling. She named the unborn child Jooniaa [Junior]
  2. Made her feel the movement of the child in the womb. And every time there was a kick, the look of amazement on her face was out of this world.
  3. Twisha would even talk and sing to her ‘Jooniaa’. And she did it all the time in her toddler language. Only they understood. Till date I have no clues what was spoken between them.
  4. Took her with us on our sonography trips, telling her about her junior. Keeping her as a part of the process only kept her involved and excited.
  5. Most importantly, we tried to manage every expectation that we could think of for T

I know there are various ways to prep a child but this was what worked for us back then.

Genevieve says she rarely interferes when two sisters are having a fight unless they’re causing each other harm

What about sibling rivalry, how do you handle it?

Take some popcorn and sit while they fight!!!!

Jokes aside, they are too young to have any kind of sibling rivalry. But they fight over some toy or some game. I find it oddly entertaining and hilarious. I rarely get in between them unless they’re causing each other harm, which never happens. They will just shout at each other. 

Because of a small age gap, fights at home are rare, and when they do fight, a gentle reminder that they are each other’s sisters and they have to be together does the trick. They will be playing together in the next 5 minutes.

What are the things you did to create a strong bond between your kids?

I never treated them differently. Sneh always says, ‘I have twins separated by 18 months.’ And we follow that. Their bonding began when K was in the womb. Twisha would frequently come to me and kiss/talk to my baby. It is as she knew who was coming soon. Twisha was allowed to play with Keisha from the day she was born.

As they grew up, we never distinguished between the two and kept the DIDI culture far away. Constantly telling them they were best friends and sisters and were a team together did the trick.While the lockdown was grim and difficult, it actually was the most important time to forge their sisterhood. Today, even if they do not have any friends, they are content playing with each other. They understand and care for each other and will come to the rescue when one is being scolded.

How involved is your husband when it comes to raising your daughters?

He knows how to tie two ponytails and is now learning how to tie plaids. And 4 nights in the week, he will sit quietly and patiently as the girls will put 100s of rubber bands and 1000s of clips in his hair and beard. In fact he loves that. 

Sneh AKA husband has been a hands-on father. We believe in equal parenting and also believe that it takes two individuals to raise the child right. He is as aware of the girls’ requirements and school as I am. We call ourselves a team when it comes to raising TK. Most importantly, washing the girls hair is his job.

Genevieve and her husband, Sneh believe that it takes two individuals to raise a child right

Tell us about your role in the Advisory Board. What do you plan to achieve through it and what difference do you want to make?

BabyChakra has been very close to me since the time I became a mother. A platform where we could share our experiences, fears and concerns. The advisory board just takes it to the next level. A true form of crowdsourcing where we are able to not just engage with our peers but also renowned professionals from across the country. With so much to learn and better ourselves, there is no end to what it can offer.

As for what I bring to the table, I want to bring in the confidence and the self-belief every new mom needs. I was a scared and unsure mom when I had my girls. I have learnt a lot along the way and through trials and errors. New moms today can connect with us, take our POV and evolve their parenthood style from there. 

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