How To Prepare Your Older Child Or Teen For A New Baby – Detailed Guide
When I was nine years old, my parents sat me down and told me the words I never thought I would hear - Mommy was having a baby. Up until that point, I had been an only child, the light of my parent's lives. Okay, a little sarcastic, but still true. I was their life, and now a little sister was taking some of my attention away.
I remember it being tough at first, especially because I was so much older than my little sister, but as I'm going to explain to you, it does get better with time. The same experience occurred to me many years later, when I was pregnant with my second child. I was so afraid that my oldest daughter would feel as though she was losing love from her daddy and me, even though at the time she wasn't quite two years old.
I would often cry to my husband with such a dreaded fear of her feeling even the slightest bit of neglect that I would get anxious and overwhelmed. I obviously overreacted, and again, it did get better with time. Time always makes everything better, but even then, it can still take a couple of conversations with your older child or children to help them understand this new adventure. So, we are here to help you with a couple tips and tricks that can make the conversations with your kids easier and make your newest addition one of the happiest memories for your family.
Guide To Prepare Your Older Child Or Teen For a New Baby
Conversation Is Key:
It is important to talk with your kids right away when you know that your child is safe and sound in your tummy. If tour children are younger at the time, help them to understand as best as possible. Having a baby can sometimes be difficult for younger children to understand, and sometimes visual tools can be helpful.
For example, it can be helpful for your younger children to pretend to care for one of their baby dolls on a daily basis. Show hem how to be gentle with the baby doll, and how to treat the baby nicely. This will translate when the newest member of the family arrives and will make the transition much easier.
For older children, the best thing is to discuss the baby in a family conversation. Ask your older kids or teens how they feel about a new baby, and if they have any concerns or questions. Being open and honest with your kids can help to make the transition easier on them, especially if they fear being ridiculed or something along those lines by their peers.
Help them to think of ways to make this baby something positive for them if they don't feel that way initially, and always make sure they know they are loved no matter what. The most important thing is having a strong relationship that stands the test of time, even when a new baby is on the way.
Don't Be Afraid Of The Inevitable:
Newsflash: Kids, both old and young, ask questions. It is just a part of our nature. We question everything including our surrounding, our relationships, and when something new and foreign is present in our lives. Adding a baby to the family is no different, and can often be something that is quite confusing for younger children, even sometimes your older children as well.
The best way to handle it is to just let them ask, and not to make them feel like they are asking the wrong questions or questions that are too personal. Even in that instance, answer their questions to the best of your ability, and she's a positive light on each answer you give. That positivity will ring in their ears continuously and will make the experience that much better when the baby is finally in your home.
Needs And Wants:
Although it may not necessarily be the advice you want to hear or listen to, this is something to at least put in the back of your mind for later. Your older children and younger children both have needs. Yes, I said it Regardless of their ages, they have things they want and things they believe they need.
Some of the requests might seem a little far fetched, but either way, give them the benefit of the doubt Whether you want to believe it or not, your children are going to be giving up a chunk of their time and their own being to be a part of this new baby's life and for this new family lifestyle that is going to begin in a few months' time.
Having the ability to listen to them and work with them through those needs and wants will help to strengthen your own relationship with your older kids, and will make the experience of a new baby much easier for the whole family. Of course, this does in no way mean that you have to do every single thing they want or need; That is not always possible. The key is to hear them out, listen to them, and show them that you care about them no matter what.
Bringing a new life into the world is truly one of the most amazing experiences your family will get to have whether it is the first time, or whether you are having your third or fourth. It is so important to make sure every member of your family feels the love and support they deserve, regardless of the circumstances, and to make sure that everyone is on the same page emotionally. Listen to your kids, to your family, and work together to make this one of the happiest times of your lives.