Rivalry among siblings is quite a common thing. One of the most prominent reasons for your child to have a brawl with their siblings is the feeling that their parents are no longer paying as much attention to them and their needs. That is why it is imperative that as parents, we let our children know that our love for them will never diminish no matter what. This especially holds true if you are expecting and want to make sure your older child feels secure about it. Below we have discussed a few tips that will help reduce sibling rivalry and tighten the bond between your kids and the one about to arrive.
1. Be Open And Empathetic To Your Child
When you are busy being pregnant and getting ready for the new baby, it is only natural for your kid to feel a bit left out or jealous. So make sure you spend as much time with them on a daily basis as possible. It would be assuring to them if you would let them know that no matter what happens, he/she will always be your little one too. It will help them a lot if you continue doing the same after the arrival of the baby as well when everyone’s attention will obviously be shifted more towards the newborn.
2. Foster The Relationship Between Your Kid And Your Partner
With the arrival of the newborn, it is only natural that you will have to devote a majority of your time and attention towards the baby. To make sure that your older kid does not feel left out at this time, your partner could put extra effort into spending more quality time with them. This will help them feel secure while nurturing the relationship between the kid and your partner.
3. Cultivate Your Kid’s Connection With The New Member
As parents, make sure that you help your child develop a connection with the newborn. If they feel affectionate and empathetic towards their younger sibling, it is much easier for them to let go of any jealousy that they might harbor. You could start by reading books on childbirth with your kid while you are pregnant. Take them with you for your regular visits to the OB/GYN and show them the sonogram of the baby. Including them in as much of the process as possible makes them feel much more welcoming towards the younger sibling. It would also be a great idea to let them pick the clothes and toys for the baby.
4. Let Them Know That They Will Always Remain An Important Member Of The Family
With the baby’s arrival, the older child would no longer be the “baby” of the house. So parents need to assure them that they will still remain a valuable member of the family. Let them know that each member is important to make a family whole, and that includes them as well. Acknowledge their positive actions, as small as that might be, and encourage them to be the way they are.
5. Do Not Dump Any New Drastic Changes Onto Your Child
There are likely going to be a couple of drastic changes happening around the house with the arrival of the newborn. This may include everything from playtime and bedtime to babyproofing the place. However, it is best to help your child accept these new changes at a natural pace. This will help them ease into these new habits without associating them with the baby. For instance, you could start the childproofing process a month or two before the due date so that the older one would get enough and more time to get used to it.
6. Make Sure The Relationship With Your Older Kid Remains As Smooth As Possible
Note that with pregnancy, your child is going to associate every negative interaction between you two with the baby. This may lead them to believe that you no longer think they are special or even that you now love them less — because of the baby. So it is extremely important that you have a smooth and loving relationship with your child. Make sure you show your affection towards them as much as possible to make them feel secure around the baby.
7. Consider Including Your Kid During The Childbirth Process
You could consider this as an option if your kid shows any interest in being there during labor. There is no harm in having your child be a part of the whole process, provided there is someone to whisk them away (a relative, perhaps) if things start to get a little complicated. If instead, you plan on having them stay back home, you could discuss who will take care of them while you are away during labor.
We hope that these tips help you nurture the relationship between your child and the newborn. Let us know in the comments section what other ways you helped your older kid feel secure during the whole process.