Sunday, February 14, 2010
Brothers and sisters, such a joy, right? Not if you have been an only child and are going to have to share your beloved parents. The worst thing a parent could do at this point is ignore the older child's feelings. A younger sibling is great learning tool and can be amazing for company. Children learn together how to get along with others, and the more kids you have, the more they learn. But kids need parents, too.
A parent's job is to hang out and protect their children. I think that is the most important job that a parent has. Children can teach themselves, or each other, very well. Another (maybe equal) job is to love your children, and make sure they know it. Kids who are not loved unconditionally by their parents grow up to have problems. They are not as smart, they are not as good of parents themselves, and they are more depressed.
Now parents of siblings have a hard job, they need to provide safety, security , and love for ALL of their children. It is vitally important that each child has his or her needs met, and important that each adult is meeting the children's needs in such a way so the parents can also meet each other and their own needs, as well.
Some tips and hints for making the transition to a larger family as smooth and painless as possible:
1: Wear your new baby. This will keep him happy and content, provide for easier nursing, and keep your hands free to spend quality time with your older child(ren) or to clean.
2: Keep your older children's routine as stable as possible. This will help them feel that the new little one isn't taking over their lives quite as much.
3: Every day, devote a certain time and activity which is just for the parents and the older child. Put the little baby down (or in a carrier) and read, or color, or anything, just that it's done regularily.