You have read all your articles on sibling rivalry, on what to do to prepare your child for the new arrival, and how to have your new baby and older child meet when suddenly the new baby is here and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly your perfect little angel either begins to use disruptive behavior, or sometimes even worse, they want to help so much you are afraid your baby might break in two. Where are the articles based on reality? Take it from a mother who knows. No matter what you do, all the preparation, all the talking, your child will react. Remember that little person used to be the king of the castle, and no king likes to share their thrown. Your mission as mom and dad is to make them understand that they still are the king in your eyes and that there is a thrown for them as well as one for the new baby!
So how is this accomplished? With patience… Here are a few easy suggestions….
1. Put words in your babies mouth… I often tell my older child that my baby missed him today or says things like how much he loves his big brother. That makes him proud!
2. As much as you can let him be your helper, but not just with the baby. Yes have the older child help with the baby, but let her cook with you, clean with you, and even do laundry. This will help them feel like the older sibling and the ?big boy? or ?big girl? of the family.
3. Switch back and forth between parents so that when the child needs some quality time and you are busy feeding the baby or putting the baby to sleep, it won?t be awkward to have the older sibling have time with dad instead of you. It will feel natural, and when you are all done you can switch children and still have quality time with your older child without either child being neglected.
4. When the older child hurts the sibling which eventually will happen (whether by accident or not) be firm and explain why we have to be gentle. Once the child understands why they have to be careful it may help.
5. Lastly always remind your child how much they are loved and how much they love their new sibling… After hearing this a lot and seeing what it means through hugs and constant affection both children will know what real love is and have it for one another.
Above all hang in there…. Once the initial stages of bringing baby home are done your beautiful preschooler will be back to your perfect angel again!