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Sibling Rivalry – how to show older children that they are still special too

Sibling Rivalry

A new baby in the house is an exciting time for everyone in the family, but when a child is forced to go from being the baby of the family to being the big brother/big sister, it can mean jealousy and hurt feelings. Having a new sibling is a huge adjustment for any child, but with a few simple steps you can easily keep the peace in your home.

1 – Remember gifts for the older sibling
When friends and relatives come bearing gifts, encourage them to get your older child a small present as well. This will help your older child to feel like they are a part of the excitement as well, instead of feeling like they are being left out and pushed to the side.
Encourage your guests to spend some one on one time with your older child before seeing the baby. Or you can take the time that visitors are spending with the baby and use it to have some private time with your older child.

2-Make sure both mom and dad have some special time with the older child every day
You know that life is crazy, between work and school and a newborn there seems like there is no time to breathe. But remember, your child is not able to realize the hectic schedule that you have. In addition to the family time that all of you are going to spend together, make sure that both mom and dad have some special time alone with the older child. This can mean that one parent is bathing the new baby while the other is taking the older child for a walk or one parent can read a book with the older child while the other parent is rocking the new baby to sleep. Just make sure that each parent gets a little bit of special time with each child every day.
And of course you should encourage as much “whole family” time as possible.

Sibling Rivalry3-Both parents should take the older child out for a day and pick out a ‘big brother’/'big sister gift
When mom has recovered enough, both parents should arrange a special outing with their older child while the newborn is staying with a sitter. While you are out, present your older child with a gift and tell them that it is a reward for being such a good big brother/big sister

4-Rewards for helping with the baby
Offer a rewards system for your older child. Every time they do something nice for the new baby, put a star on a special chart. At the end of every week, give your older child a special treat for all of the help they have been giving you with the new baby. This will help to encourage the bonding process between the older sibling and the newborn.
Remember, a new baby means many changes for the entire family. No parent wants their older child to feel neglected because a new baby has come into the family. Follow these simple tricks and your child will be happy to tell people that they are a new big brother/big sister.

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