The birth of a new baby creates both excitement and anxiousness among parents.
For your firstborn child, the centre of attention is shifted and this is enough to turn your little angels to green-eyed monsters. Yet, with proper guidance, even young children can be taught to be responsible older siblings.
Want to know the secret? Here’s how.
How to Prepare Your Child for a Younger Sibling
Explain his/her new role
First things first! Let your child know what a baby is, how they act and a sneak peek into his/her new role as an older sibling.
Explain that babies cry a lot and they require constant attention and what he/she as an older sibling can do. Educating your child is important, as this helps to prepare him/her for the baby and set expectations for the things to come.
With a new member of the family, it may be confusing for your child. You should not let your worries get in the way of the joyous news.
Facing this new family dynamics with a positive attitude will help the elder sibling realise that the arrival of a younger brother or sister is an exciting change to look forward to.
Despite the precautions you take, sometimes things may not work out ideally and your child may still feel neglected.
Always remember to check on your child and allow opportunities to express his/her emotions. Most importantly, assure your child that he/she can trust you.
One great tip is to use emotional words, such as “sad”, “angry” and “happy” to help your child express their emotions through words rather than explosive actions and behaviours.
Letting your child know that he/she will always be loved and appreciated goes a long way.
When a new sibling comes along, it will be difficult to give the same amount of time to the elder sibling.
It is important that your older child understands that you are not doing this because you care less, but because babies need more care and attention when they are younger.
For older children, you can also share that the introduction of an additional family member also implies greater responsibilities.
Ideally, elder siblings will have to lead by example such as showcasing good behaviour, guiding the younger ones and being a loving figure. Apart from acclimatising the child to his or her new role of being a responsible older sibling, you may also find that it will bond the family with the new infant.
A New Way Forward
Having a new child can be daunting, it brings about a new set of challenges compared to the first. However, it is also an exciting change for the entire family to look forward to.
By preparing your family, especially your little ones, you can ensure that the addition of a new family member will bring great joy and harmony.