A proactive mom can make a quality shift in parenting skills, as she empowers herself to control a situation or an issue before it escalates into a problem behavior in her child/children.
Today, we shall outline how a mother may handle the situation/issue of sibling rivalry by being proactive.
What is sibling rivalry in children? It is always expressed in negative emotions and behaviors such as jealousy, competition, fighting and bickering between brothers and sisters, almost all the time that they play together.
In the first place the mother must do a bit of self examination to check if she has a helpful attitude to being proactive in addressing sibling rivalry.
Mother’s self examination of helpful attitude
As a proactive mother do you subscribe to the following statements?
- Each child is a unique individual with differing needs and personality.
- Comparisons and favoritism must be avoided between children.
- It is especially important to be calm and objective in the face of children fighting and bickering.
- It is necessary to first attend to the child who needs attention the most when settling quarrels, disputes or fights.
- It is very important to set some ground rules of discipline which children need to respect and follow.
Sibling rivalry: Proactive illustrative example.
Birth of a new sibling can be traumatic to the first child. Herewith is listed a mother’s proactive role in this situation, in three steps.
Step I: Before the birth of new sibling
About a month or two, before the new baby is born, you need to prepare the older child by:
- Talking of the new arrival as a family member.
- Pointing out that the new baby will need attention care and love especially by being dependent and helpless. Also point out how the older child was brought home the same way.
- Telling the older child that he/she had an important role in making the baby feel at home.
Step II: Visit to hospital
Have the older child visit the new baby in the hospital with a gift for:
- Meeting the new baby.
- Finding out how dependent and helpless but lovely the baby is.
- Getting used to the idea that very soon the baby will come home.
Step III: New baby at home
It is important to impress on your older child that you love both the children. It is also important to involve him /her in some activity with the new baby, so that he/she does not feel left out.
Some examples of what can be done are:
- Tell your older child stories about babies who were helped by their responsible older brother and sister.
- Set some do’s and don’ts for the older child when interacting with the baby, with explanation and reasons for the same. This will help him/her understand their helping role better.
- Your older child can play with the baby with soft toys and rattles,can sing a lullaby, make colorful hanging mobiles, show finger plays or tell small stories with facial expressions and hand movements. He/she will be rewarded with the smiles, squeals and gurgles from the baby and thus a special bond will be established between them.
- But you know your children the best, therefore you should think of ways and means to promote positive interactions between your younger and older child. Just ensure the baby’s safety.
So Moms go ahead and help build a special bond between your children and help solve the issue of sibling rivalry to a large extent.
Happy proactive parenting!