Sibling rivalry is always expressed in negative emotions and behaviors such as jealousy, competition, fighting and bickering between siblings. However, you can control the situation before it escalates into a problem behavior in your child by making quality shift in parenting skills. These tips will help you keep peace among siblings.
Step I: Prepare the older child
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 has an important role in making the baby feel at home.
Step II: Have the older child visit the hospital
Have the older child visit the new baby in the hospital 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: Involve the older child in activities
It is important to impress on your older child that you love both the children. It is also important to involve him in some activity with the new baby so that he does not feel left out. You can:
- 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 understand the 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 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.