How to prepare First child to welcome Newborn & avoid Sibling Rivalry?

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Human beings are very possessive. They always live in fear of losing. The thought of loosing or sharing often makes them insecure, may it be their time, money, success, relationships or any other thing.

The parents fear of sharing their son with daughter-in-law after his marriage. Vice-versa, she also always feels insecure with in-laws. Husband feel dejected when the wife is pre-occupied due to the birth of their child. But, worst scenario is, when this insecurity and dejection adversely affects the first child on arrival of the second child.

The elder child, who was always the center of attraction for the family since birth, pampered and cared exclusively, now has to share the mother’s love, father’s attention and other family members’ blessings. As soon as the newborn arrives, this poor child is bombarded with the list of do’s and don’ts. Every member of the family is busy to welcome the newborn in their own ways. The whole atmosphere is filled with happiness and celebrations.

But, Alas! There is one member in the family who feels insecure and dejected, because, now no one offer him a glass of water when he come home, or  give motivation when he could not enjoy good marks or fail to join school team. He is hurt in the field, but the newborn gets attention.

And the first child doesn’t even realize that when the seed of hatred against owned sibling was sown in his heart and the emotional conflict began.

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Now, starts the war of possession to prove that he cannot give up so easily. The first fight to claim property of love, care and attention with own sibling takes the form of daily quarrels.

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The expected parents should realize that it is equally important to take care of their first child as soon as they conceive. It should be an essential part of their antenatal care. They should reassure the first child that the sibling would increase his/her happiness by many folds and is not a threat to their importance. They should disclose that they are just postman of God and it is he/she who would be the real guardian of the newborn. They who would bring a tiny, beautiful toy from heaven into this world, who could cry, express, respond and play with them. The first child should be counseled that he/she has to take care of all the needs of the newborn and if nurtured properly, he would in return share all worldly sufferings and would standby in strong support at all times.

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Few important suggestions, that may help to form a strong love bond between the siblings:

  • As much as possible, kindly take the first child to your Doctor during antenatal visits. When the Doctor auscultates the fetal heart beat, tell to the first child that the baby is greeting to them in its own language. This would make the first child proud of the tiny one.
  • Seek help and opinion of the first child in most of the activities that concern the newborn like- buying cloths, deciding interior of the room etc. This would make him confident and mature.
  • Discuss all the instructions that would be important in the care of the newborn like washing hands, using sanitizers, avoiding infections etc. and ask them to write and paste in their diary. Inform him/her, that they have a responsibility to getting these followed from other family members in favor of the newborn. This would make them responsible as a caretaker.
  • Ask the first child to softly place the hand on mother’s tummy and share a poem, story or a thought with the baby in womb that they have learnt in school. This would not only play a vital role in creating a love bond between the two, but also take due care of one’s study without pressure.

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Disclaimer:

The information is shared to create awareness towards Pregnancy and Childcare to reduce maternal and child deaths. Atmost care has been taken by the author to include the verified information from authentic sources. However, kindly discuss the same with your health care provider before implementation.