When you are set to expand your family, one of the things you need to address is preparing your kid for the change in family structure. Kids barely understand the intricacies of the family’s social setting. You, therefore, are responsible for adequately integrating them so they can take up the older sibling role healthily and effectively. This is even more important if they are an only child. You should read on to discover some valuable tips!
1. Share The News Early On, And Introduce Them To The Baby As Early As Possible
You do not have to wait until after delivery before informing your kid about the big news. As soon as your pregnancy becomes apparent to your kid, break the news as simply and relatable as possible. If they ask questions, answer them in simple terms. However, you do not have to share much detail about your pregnancy’s circumstances – just enough to satisfy their curiosity and let them know to expect a sibling.
When the sibling eventually arrives (at the hospital), let your kid be one of the first few to be acquainted with it (amidst supervision). The “bonding” process can be pretty fickle and emotional. Try as much as possible to correctly pick up the cues from the situation and address them accordingly.
2. Expect Some Unenthusiasm and Work To Alleviate It
As previously stated, there is no telling (for sure) how they would react to news of pregnancy – or even after delivery. Not every kid will light up in glee when they comprehend the situation – whether late after the birth of their sibling or earlier on. Hence, here at Montgomery Child Care Association, we suggest you prepare to deal with a bit of unenthusiasm, moodiness, or even protests that may stem from possible jealousy or fear of abandonment. You should not be upset about it. It is normal. Instead, feed them with information and include them in activities that de-escalate the situation.
For example, remind them that they were once babies (photo albums could help in this respect) and that having another in the home would be lovely. You could start as early as during pregnancy. Also, allow them to engage in activities like picking clothes for your new baby amidst many others. This fosters a sense of belonging and draws them closer to their sibling. You could also introduce them to books and shows that help them better settle into the sibling role. In addition, when they demonstrate good behavior, reward them – positive reinforcement.
3. Do Not Ignore Them Or Rush Their Growth
Childcare can be so time-intensive and demanding that other essential activities, like your older sibling’s development, are accidentally ignored or put on hold. Therefore, be intentional about making time for your older sibling’s growth. Also, keep up and pay attention to certain milestones in their lives – like their early school days. If you can’t quite rise to the role amidst the hectic schedule, have other family members stand in for you for the time being. If there aren’t others to fill the role properly, enroll them into childcare programs – like our daycare in Rockville, MD – for holistic development, proper monitoring, and healthy interactions with other kids.
Our daycare in Rockville, MD, offers childcare programs that keep your kids occupied in expert hands amidst your absence or busy schedule. Book a schedule with us today to avail yourself of this opportunity!