Loving a New Sibling

Introducing a little brother/sister

Posted by Kristi Gilbert

 Tonight, I was holding my daughter as my son ran through the hallways. We stayed a safe distance away but had perfect box seats for the show. He would run down pumping his arms as he squealed in delight. My daughter echoed his happiness, just content with what her big brother hero was doing. 

I smiled, happily thinking They've come such a long way.

Flashback a few months.......

The day we brought our second child home was filled with happy moments and worry. Was our toddler going to behave around our daughter? Will they get along? Since the beginning, he has been prince of the household. My MIL's first grandchild. I know plenty of other families that have had more than one child. Would we have the same successes?

I read an article on Parenting.com written by Dr Sears. In it, he talks about their 1 1/2 year -old learning to make an adjustment to passing the center-of-attention torch to a younger, newer sibling. He also discusses the teachings and learnings of the word "wait."

Yeah, this is the part I'm worried about. My son has never been a good "waiter". He's our golden boy, able to get anything from us. At his beck and call, its not surprising we were fearful. We'd paved this road.

At first, he was whiny and clingy; something I chalked up as completely normal. He'd interupt feeding time, burst in on her naps and try to take her off my lap. He would push on her, scream in her face and try to outcry her. All responses to months of "its all about him." We just used encouragement when we needed him to be gentle. We praised him when he stood by letting us finish changing, feeding, etc. 

Gradually, things improved. He learned to wait. He came around when we fed her but sat next to us patiently, even taking the bottle and helping out. He went into his room and played with toys while we cared for her. He learned to play alone with encouragement. We made a point to give him one-on-one time when she slept and would take him to the park while she chilled in the stroller. 

So it wasn't the easiest ride. It took consistency. Also, we needed her to not fear her big brother. We were lucky that she seemed to respond when he was around. Not by crying or wailing but looking at him. He was the first she smiled and laughed at. It was obvious they had a bond. So far so good. 

Nowadays, he entertains her better than we do. She learns all her noises from him; good and bad. (The spitting face is my least favorite.) He always wants her around. He calls her into his room to play trains. He refuses to eat unless she's in her chair. Its sweet and a bit hilarious. 

And all it took was some time. 


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