Preparing for the Birth of a Sibling
Three Tips to Prepare for the Birth of a Sibling: A new sibling is a tremendous joy for a family, but it also changes the dynamics within a family and not everyone is going to have the same response. Here are a few tips to help prepare for the birth of a sibling:
- Build the sense of connection with your older child. Without a sense of connection and a sense of your love, your child cannot build a good relationship with anybody. In order to function well, your child has to have a sense of connection first. Using play is a great way to build connection. We have a great game called, “100 Kisses.” Say, “I have a hundred kisses. Who can I catch?” as you look around curiously. Then settle your eyes on your child and smile. Chase your child around but only almost catch her. Catch her shoe and try to plant a kiss. Don’t overpower your child. Create a lot of laughter and let her have the upper hand.
- Listen to your older child’s BIG feelings. The birth of a sibling is going to squeeze your child and restimulate feelings about having your attention go somewhere else. Do what you can to really stop and listen to your child when she is upset. Though you feel no less love for your child, she still needs to offload how much it hurts to not have you as much. We call this Staylistening. You move in close, bring eye contact and add warmth and caring as you listen to your child. This allows your child to heal the hurt that causes trouble day in and day out.
- Build support for yourself. Parents who are fed up, tired, upset, worried, angry, or frustrated cannot be part of a real solution. Many of us muddle through until our mind clears up and then be part of a solution. Partner with someone withwhom you can take turns talking/listening about what is hard about parenting. If you have someone to listen to your feelings, those feelings have someplace to go and they won’t infect so much of your time with your children.
By: Kristen Volk, Certified Instructor of Parenting by Connection. Join Kristen at her upcoming workshop titled, “Preparing for the Birth of a Sibling” at Belly Bliss in Denver. Click here to see workshops for parents in Denver.
Copyright Rachel Kemble Photography