01 Sep What To Do If Your Older Children Get Jealous of the Newborn
As most parents know, the idea of sharing can be difficult to grasp for most toddlers and young children. Many little kids live a rather self-involved life and teaching them to share can be hard. While teaching a little one to share their toys and games is one thing—teaching that same child how to share the attention of Mom and Dad is a completely different ballgame. However, that is the challenge that countless little kids have to master every year when a newborn is added to their family.
While many parents wish and hope that their child will embrace their new baby brother or sister with open arms—the reception isn’t always that warm and welcoming especially with toddlers. While it can be disheartening at first when your children get jealous of your newborn, there are a few things that you can do in order to help your older child transition to this big change.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings
Don’t just ignore bad behavior or chalk it up to being “just bad behavior.” You need to acknowledge what they are feeling and tell them that it is OK for them to feel sad or mad because it is hard to be a big sibling. However, it doesn’t men that your child can overreact or act inappropriately whenever they want.
Spend Quality Time Together
Sometimes, all younger kids need in order to really help them with their transition is a little one-on-one time. Even if it is just 20 minutes of one-on-one time, a walk, or reading their favorite book, do your best to give them undivided attention when you can. Sometimes, this can be accomplished by wearing your child around in a sling, or by having a family member help watch the newborn so you can give your other child, or children, more attention.
Give Your Child Praise
There may be times where your child is angry at or rough with your baby, and this can be hard. You should make it clear that there is no hurting allowed with your child. However, don’t be so quick to punish your older child—work with them to help them express their frustration. However, when your child is patient, cooperative and kind, make sure to give them plenty of praise and attention.
It is also important to note that many children, particularly toddlers will eventually experience some type of regression. This can be frustrating but is normal. If you toddler starts regressing back to baby behavior like thumb-sucking, or having accidents, they may be stressed or looking for attention. Do your best to be patient and understanding of the fact that this is difficult for your older child.
If you have more questions on handling the transition of a new sibling with your existing children, contact the experts at Continuum Pediatrics. If you would like to make an appointment give us a call at 817-617-8600 to schedule one today.