Toddler

Sibling Bonding – What Works?

Our homes need to be the perfect places we retreat to when we need to rest and be near those who are vey close to us. We therefore have no other option but to make them welcoming and lively. We need to do all that we can to ensure that tranquility prevails in our homes for benefit of all family members. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and one of the reasons is because of either sibling rivalry or lack of it.

Although giving birth to a new baby is always a cause for joy and happiness, not everyone in the family is usually happy. The youngest of your children will always feel displaced, which sets the stage for rivalry, which can be very intense and fierce. This is most likely to happen in case you give birth when the youngest of your children is a toddler. The constant cries and noise for attention will certainly be overwhelming.

It may also turn out that your home remains very quiet after you have given birth. Apart from the joy and happiness brought about by a new family member, everything remains silent. There simply is no rivalry even though other siblings are there. This is what happens when you give birth to a new baby after a long time when the youngest of your children is already attending school.

Regardless of whether your give birth when the youngest of your children is a toddler or when he/she is attending school, sibling bonding is very necessary and it is not always a pleasant task to undertake. The following strategy should therefore help you in helping your children get along as they grow.

Your first task should be to let the other children realize that they were once as helpless as the new baby. This is only possible when you let them be around the baby under your watch. Doing so makes them appreciate that the infant will eventually grow to a point where they will be able to play together.

Your second task should be to engage the other children whenever you attend to the infant. Allow the other children to play a role in attending to the infant. This can be by having them around the baby at bath time when they get involved in bringing all bathing accessories that you need. Give them an opportunity to also clean the infant while you hold him/her. Doing so should make it possible for them to appreciate the fact that they have not been ignored and are still valuable in the life of the infant.

Your third and possibly last task is to temporarily forego some of your responsibilities as a parent or as a mom. Consider engaging the other children on what type of clothing or toys to buy for the new baby. Allow them to make that decision. It would actually be beneficial to go with them shopping for the same. Doing so gives them a sense of responsibility toward the baby, a responsibility they would not want to abdicate.

There are lots of opportunities you can seize to make it possible for your older children to bond with their young sibling without any frictions. You only need to create the most conducive environment for that to happen.

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