How to prepare your child for a sibling?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to prepare your child for a sibling?

Postby Fuzz » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:24 am

My hubby and I are trying for a 2nd kid. Our boy is now 4 and we have been talking to him to mentally prepare him for a sibling. Sometimes he's keen on the idea and says he wants a little brother to play with. But on other days, he gets a bit insecure and says he doesn't want a sibling and asks why we want another one. Is this a common reaction and how should we deal with it?

Fuzz
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Postby jedamum » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:55 pm

Some of the things to AVOID doing...
- don't address the 2nd child as the 'new' baby. that will indicate that the 1st child is 'old'.
- don't say 'now you are older bro' cos some kids don't like to be old; you can use that latter on when the 2nd born is older and the first born is matured enough for more responsibilities.
- don't ask the 1st child want didi or mei mei. you are asking for trouble.
- don't ask the 1st born to give up his clothings, toys or any stuff for the 2ndborn.


You can...
- bring the 1st child along for your gyne checkup when the 2nd born is slightly more 'visible' under the ultrascan.
- let the 1st child choose a present for the 2nd born nearer to the date of birth.
- share storybooks (Charlie and Lola etc), dvds about siblings (Cailou - he has a sis; some parents don't like this dvd cos Cailou can be whiny...but i realised it applies in the older episodes and the new episodes are more toned down; Taoshu - he has a sis; i find Taoshu amusing, but feel that in some of the episodes, the kid can pick up some bad habits, so PG is advised); but downside is that you have to have a good mix of bro-bro and bro-sis stories combination if the gender of your 2nd born is not known yet (my ds1 insisted wanted a sis after watching some dvd and i had to do some convincing when found out he is getting a bro).


I read somewhere about what to do during the first visit to the hospital to visit the newborn. will share that later on ba. :wink:

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Postby The Little Cheng Mommy » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:49 pm

Thanks for sharing! I'm currently in my 3rd trimester and I've been losing sleep worrying about my older son's jealousy problem too. I've started talking to my then 23 months old son about Mommy having a little baby brother in the tummy. Initially my son got Very upset that he'll hit my tummy or even cried in his dream that he didn't want 'DiDi' (!). Few months back, I started to expose him to places with young babies and sent him to half day childcare (the center also offers infant care service which my son can hear/see infants), he now seems to show less aggressive feelings than before. Sometimes he even tell me about the little babies crying in school. But yes, as what jedamum said, asking the older child to share his used toys and books (even the badly torn and broken ones) remains a taboo issue. Haha.

I started reading him books and explaining to him that Daddy & Mommy have brothers (whom he addresses as 'Shu Shu' & 'Jiu Jiu') and that we had a lot of fun playing together when we were little children. Also, I showed him photos of him when he's just a tiny baby.

I think jealousy issue will remain, but most importantly we must let the eldest one know that he'll be loved by everyone like before. Hope and pray hard that things will go smoothly!

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Postby cherrygal » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:48 am

My son was 4+ going on to 5 when we had another baby. When I found out I was pregnant, we told him Jesus gave us the baby because he prayed for it. So he "asked" for the baby and he must thus love it. That worked quite well.

During my pregnancy, he accompanied us to the gynae, spoke to my tummy, kissed it etc. He was also very interested in watching the online videos of pregnancy stages and childbirth on Babycenter.com. Using those videos, he was able to visualise how his sibling would be like and looked forward to the baby's arrival.

As for whether he wanted a didi or meimei, we made both choices very appealing by telling him, if it were a didi, he would get more new toys coz his old ones would be passed to or shared with didi. If it were a meimei, he wouldn't need to share his toys at all.

When my gal came, we made him the big brother and he enjoys helping around the house, fetching meimei's toys, diapers etc. He also helps to play with her when we are busy.

I also forewarned him before the baby's arrival that there will be occasions when meimei would demand to hold his toys so he should just let her touch them since the toys are still his. That has worked so far.

In addition, I make it a point to remind him that he received the same attention when he was a baby by showing him his baby photos.

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Postby cnimed » Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:18 am

Hmm, we told ds1 that a sibling is the only friend he can bring around with him, and pointed out other friends with siblings. There were rough patches and difficult phases, but now he wants me to have six children.
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Postby Fuzz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:14 am

jedamum wrote:Some of the things to AVOID doing...
- don't address the 2nd child as the 'new' baby. that will indicate that the 1st child is 'old'.
- don't say 'now you are older bro' cos some kids don't like to be old; you can use that latter on when the 2nd born is older and the first born is matured enough for more responsibilities.
- don't ask the 1st child want didi or mei mei. you are asking for trouble.
- don't ask the 1st born to give up his clothings, toys or any stuff for the 2ndborn.


Thanks jedamum! Gd thing you mentioned these cos hubby and I already did 2 out of 4 of these things (no. 2 and no. 3)!! oops!

Our boy says he wants a didi so now we need to 'un-do' this problem just in case he gets a mei mei!

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Postby Fuzz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:17 am

The Little Cheng Mommy wrote:I started reading him books and explaining to him that Daddy & Mommy have brothers (whom he addresses as 'Shu Shu' & 'Jiu Jiu') and that we had a lot of fun playing together when we were little children. Also, I showed him photos of him when he's just a tiny baby.

I think jealousy issue will remain, but most importantly we must let the eldest one know that he'll be loved by everyone like before. Hope and pray hard that things will go smoothly!


That's a good idea, to tell him about your own siblings and show how fun it is to have them around. My boy is close to our siblings and is especially fond of my hubby's brother, so hopefully this will help! Yes I agree it's v important to let the older child know that he's not forgotten and is equally loved. I think that's what worries them. They don't want to feel left out.

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Postby Fuzz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:22 am

Wow cherrygal, hope my boy will be as sweet to the baby as yours! It's a great idea to show him the online videos about pregnancy etc. I think I'll do that later, maybe when baby's 2 to 3 mths. Now we're still at the 'trying' stage!!

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Postby janet88 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:27 am

I prepared my son by telling him he will be a gor gor and will have a brother or sister to play with him...also brought him along for all my pre-natal checkups. When the sex of the bb was known, we brought him shopping for clothes. We assured him that we will still love him as much...and will need his help to take care of his 妹妹.

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Postby jedamum » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:21 pm

janet_lee88 wrote:I prepared my son by telling him he will be a gor gor and will have a brother or sister to play with him.

a few months after my ds2 was born, my ds1 became moody everyday. reason? he said that i told him that his bro would play with him but how come his bro so small? hahaha....i told him to wait a little longer. i stayed with my ILs at that time, so whenever i was occupied by the baby, my boy had someone else to turn to for attention (Fuzz, if your boy is not closer to your dh, you may want to start now so that he can turn to your dh for company if you are occupied with the baby). now he very happy cos can play together (i am even happier!! more 'me-time'!)

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