A new child in the house can trigger feelings of love, compassion and protection in the first-born older child, or may even cause the former to feel jealous and insecure. How many times have you heard of instances of the older child taking offence due to the attention given to their baby sibling? Even though the older child is older, they are still pretty little to understand the whereabouts of their baby sibling. Such a feeling which arises in the kid’s childhood can lead to further complications when they grow up. In order to prevent this issue from happening in the first place, it will be a wise decision to take certain steps like the ones listed below:
Tell your child:
When you decide to break the news to your friends and family, you should inform your child about the arrival of a baby soon. Tell them that you are expecting a new family member and a baby sibling for them. While you can tell them that it will be a new playmate for them, don’t just stick with that description. Introduce the baby as a new and equal family member and not just a toy for your older child. Make the elder sibling realise that the baby will need everyone’s care and attention, and that you would love to have them contributing with the help.
Include your kid in the celebration:
Many kids feel deprived of the love and attention that they received as an only child, now that there is a newly born baby in the house. Instead of making them feel sidelined and isolated, you can include them in the process of looking after and tending to the baby. Tell them that they are now the responsible child, you trust them, and that you look up to them more now than before. This will channel all the potential hatred of your older kid into love for and compassion for the little baby.
There are a couple of things that need to be done well before the baby arrives. Ensure that your child learns to look after their small basic needs like changing their own clothes, feeding themselves, or using the loo. You do not want your older child still relying upon you for small things like these. Make them understand well in advance that the new baby will take up most of your time, especially when it is still an infant. Ask for their help in tending to the child. In this way, both kids will be well looked after at the same time.
Appreciate your older child:
A few words of praise for a still-learning kid do no harm. Yes, your child may go wrong in some situations. In fact, they may even end up making blunders and increasing your workload in the process of helping you out. Look over this issue to the fact that they even offered to help in the first place. Also, ask the guest visiting your house to spend time with the bay to pay attention to the older one too. When shopping for the little one, buy stuff for them too. Compliment and praise them often; not just for what they do for their baby sibling, but also for their other exclusive achievements.
Be available for your older child:
Although the above practices will cause tremendous changes in your children, remember that they are kids after all. They may have other aspects of concern like school or extracurricular activities. They may want to talk to you about their other important concerns. It is a learning phase for them, too. Don’t overlook them completely, even if they don’t directly make a show of themselves.
Bring the situation within control:
Most kids are natural lovers. They await their sibling instead of developing hatred and anger for them. But in some occasional cases it happens so that some kids develop feelings of jealousy towards the second child of their parents. This situation is not as serious as it may seem. Kids are easily manipulated and soft at heart, which is why they are kids. Parents only need to divide their care and attention equally, and not just give it to one child itself. They need to realise what their first child is going through and if they are happy with the arrival of your second. You can very easily take care of this situation and bring it well within your control.