“Hugs Are for Teaching,” Friend, Feb. 1991, 18–19
When Amy was three, her mother and father brought home her baby brother, Paul. They said Amy was a big sister now. But she didn’t feel any different. She still felt little.
Amy wasn’t sure she liked the baby. He didn’t do anything, even when she smiled at him. Then one day he smiled. “I taught my brother how to smile,” said Amy.
Sometimes Amy liked to shake a rattle in front of Paul. When Paul was three months old, he reached out and took the rattle from Amy and shook it. “I taught my brother how to shake a rattle,” said Amy.
One day Amy’s friend came over to play. They crawled on the floor and pretended they were dogs. Paul watched them. A few months later Amy saw Paul crawl. “I taught my brother how to crawl,” said Amy.
Amy liked to pretend that she was an acrobat on a high wire, walking very slowly, one foot in front of the other. When baby Paul was ten months old, he took his first steps walking very slowly, one step at a time. “I taught my brother how to walk,” said Amy.
Paul was growing big and tall. He didn’t always do what Amy told him to. Sometimes Amy forgot to be nice. She pulled his hair and made him cry. Then she felt bad and gave him a hug.
One day Amy would not share her book with Paul. He grabbed her hair. Amy rubbed her head and said tearfully, “I taught my brother how to pull hair.”
Paul held out his arms in front of Amy. Amy held out her arms, too, and they hugged. “I taught Paul how to hug,” said Amy. “I would rather hug than pull hair. From now on I will be very careful about what I teach my brother.”