10 Things Parents Should Teach Their First Child to Make Them a Good Sibling for the Younger One
Having a sibling can be very rewarding, but the first child may not see it that way at first. Since they are used to being the only child, the news of baby no. 2 can give them a lot of mixed feelings. Parents should therefore not only welcome the baby the way they did the first time, but also help the older kid to adjust to the change.
Bright Side shares the things that parents should impart to their older kids so that they can create a good bond with the new baby.
1. The importance of sharing
Before they had a sibling, the first child was the only child in the family. All the attention was on them and everything they had was likely to be theirs and theirs alone. So they need to be taught how to share before the second child comes along. This way they will learn how to compromise instead of arguing with the younger one about ownership.
2. How to be kind and patient
The first child will have learned about a lot of things before the birth of the second one. While they may be excited to get to know the latest addition to the family, they need to learn how to be kind and patient, because the baby will not know how to communicate yet. The baby will be slow and is bound to cry a lot, so the older brother or sister needs to learn how to deal with them without getting angry.
3. That there’s always a space for more in the family
It is normal for the first child to feel unwanted when the second one appears. To avoid this, they need to know that rule goes like this: “The bigger, the merrier...” and that they are needed in the family. They have to understand that they will actually play an even more crucial role with the coming of the new family member.
4. That you can love someone without loving someone else less
Usually the first child worries that their parents will love them less because more attention is likely to be given to the younger sister or brother. This jealousy can be reduced by letting the first kid know that love is not limited. They should be assured that their parents still love them as much as before and that they are loved equally with the baby.
5. How to be independent
The first child should also be taught to be able to do certain things on their own, depending on how old they are. This way they will feel like they don’t always need their parents’ attention the way they did when they were a baby. They will feel empowered to act like the wiser, older sibling to the newcomer.
6. The right way of playing with others
If the first child hasn’t been on playdates before, they should learn the proper way of playing with other kids. Parents should tell them to not play rough, be mean, or be selfish. Being nice and playing well, so that everyone enjoys the game, should be encouraged.
7. That you should help others in need
Newborn babies obviously need help with everything. If the first child knows that they should always help someone whenever they can, they will feel needed by the baby. Not only could this help the parents in raising the younger kid, but it will also boost the first child’s confidence to be a good brother or sister to their sibling.
8. How to handle something fragile
Fresh from the womb, babies are fragile. While parents should encourage the first child to interact with their sibling, they should be taught how to handle a baby gently. Otherwise, they could hurt the baby even if they don’t mean to.
9. The importance of taking care of family members
The first child should learn that the second child is also part of their family unit. Therefore, they should also be loved and cared for like everyone else within the family. Once the first child accepts this fact, they are more likely to be protective of their younger sibling.
10. How to communicate their feelings
This is perhaps one of the most important things to teach the first child. When the second child is born, it can lead to a lot of mixed feelings. The first kid should know that their parents will always be there to listen when they need to express their feelings. It is healthier for them to be able to tell their parents what’s going on, than to throw a tantrum or do something that could harm the baby.
Which of these do you think first kids should learn before welcoming a baby sister or brother? What other qualities should they adopt so that they can be good siblings to the younger ones?
Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for BrightSide.me