The Baby Blogs Day 1. Preparing Your Older Child For Your New Arrival
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Having a new baby is very exciting but your older child may worry about what all the changes may mean to them as for the last year or two they have probably been the centre of your universe.
The first two years are what I call the attachment phase of your child’s life. Your child learns that the world is a warm, secure & safe place and they also learn that if they communicate their needs to you, you will take care of them quickly and easily e.g. talk to them, play with them , feed them, get a drink for them, or change their nappy etc. But there comes a time in early toddlerhood when a child needs to learn the magic word, “wait” or in the case of my own son “In a minute!”
Waiting involves delaying gratification and realising that there are other family members that are as important as they are, and this isn’t always an easy concept for a young toddler or child to understand.
The birth of a new sibling is a rite of passage really. The arrival of a baby brother or sister can help your older child understand what it means to wait and to share, and give them a sense of becoming an independent person unique in their own right. It will also reinforce that no matter what happens, you are still there to support, nurture, and love them but now there are others perhaps to take care of first sometimes.
So be patient, relaxed, upbeat and positive in your tone of voice when you say “In a minute” and don’t feel guilty as your child is learning about family life so think of it as teaching your older child a life skill that they need to experience, because how your child learns to get along with a brother or sister at home, will set the pattern for how they’ll get along with others throughout their life.
Your family is a boot camp for developing healthy social relationships and guiding your child through this transition will prepare them for other hurdles that they’ll face outside your home. Keep the bigger picture and relax.
If you would like more ideas you can download my Banish The Bickering MP3 right now here.