“Sibling rivalry.” This competition between brothers and sisters is universal. It all starts when parents plan for family expansion; adding another member to the family.
It is hard for a kid to understand, why the newborn is getting all the attention and time of his parents? The biggest challenge for parents at such stage is before planning your second baby – preparing your kid for Separation.
At this stage, the biggest worry of every parent is – “how to tell their elder kid about his upcoming younger brother/sister, who would play with him and who will grow up to steal his toys.”
Let me get it straight; there is no such thing like one-size-fits-all answers to the questions peculiarly when they are coming from a kid. The first kid is always pampered, no denial to the statement.
If you are preparing yourself for a second baby, make sure you are also preparing the first one for the expected, but the short-term separation. Let your first baby know, no matter what the new baby will get, there will be no reduction in his share of time and attention.
Being a kid, jealousy is a quite an obvious reaction, but you should know how to redirect those emotions of your elder kid in a rather positive way. Don’t let the elder kid feel neglected.
Take every possible initiative to make him/her feel that you still love him/her the way you used to. Baby your kid, listen to your baby and emphasize his/her needs too.
Involvement. The children have a very abstract idea of time. Keep your child updated about what is happening, but do it at the right time.
You don’t want them to blab the secret before the right time. Involving them is a really good practice, be it asking them for packing your hospital bag or some food. Ask questions like, “what do you think I should feed the baby with?
Darling, do you think banana is a good idea?” Take him/her to the shopping and ask him/her to select something for the upcoming baby; the gift he/she wants to give to his newborn sibling.
It is okay if you want to skip the evening walk with your kid, however, just make sure that you are not taking the unborn kid is a reason for that (though it could be).
You can always have other excuses. Besides, ask your child to think about a name for his/her unborn sibling. Take your kid with you and make him/her feel like he/she is a part of everything.
Let your baby feel the belly-kicks (be careful though) or ask you doctor if he can make your baby hear the heartbeat. The more ownership your first child feels, the less displaced he/she will be.
Never replace his place. Diversion of attention is uncontrollable. However, before him/her, parents need to learn how to handle this diversion.
Never ever make your first kid feel like he/she is now no more concerned. Always and always reinforce all the wonderful things about him/her. Do not shy away from saying a few things like, “Oh Darling! You are awesome.
Do take a very good care of your younger one. This infant needs your help, big buddy. You always make me happy.” The only concern is, “developing a sense of a valuable member within him/her.”
Do not wish first kid to accept all the big changes at once, e.g. change of room, change of bathroom, toys, etc. Like us, kids also need time to make these new routines into habits. The advisable thing is, as parents you need to start with these changes a little early.