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Our great-grandmothers, when another child appeared, used to say: love multiplies, does not divide … Beautiful and true. But for three-year-old Zuzia or Tomek, the baby brought by her mother from the hospital becomes an intruder and a rival.
A few-year-olds do not have to share the general enthusiasm for the arrival of a new family member. On the contrary - after a few hours, he may propose to give the baby to someone. Or send him to the hospital. This is perfectly normal. Our older child, used to playing the first fiddle so far, has to slowly learn to function in this new reality that is very difficult for him.
helping parents' hand
It is largely up to you to accept the change easily and learn to love younger siblings. The basis is, of course, the love of mum and dad, which remains absolutely unchanged towards the older child. Only now we need to emphasize more often and more than before with words and gestures how much we love our old boy. Hugs, kisses and caresses are essential. Show your child at every step that you are still the same person to him. Control the situation, control your behavior: do not allow yourself to yell, get impatient and show discouragement. Your child, although put in a completely new role of older brother or sister, must know that he is still safe, loved and respected.
Nothing by force
To tame the baby's bad emotions, to which he has every right - jealousy, regret, a sense of withdrawal - try to involve him in everyday activities with the baby. This will make him feel important and needed. Let your toddler explore the world of babies with you. However, don't expect too much of him. And remember - don't do anything by force! Share what you see and do, and encourage your older child to do so as well. Remind that when she was a baby, you did the same activities with him, you devoted the same amount of time to him and showed the same amount of commitment.
Screw a little
Let him get involved. Say, for example: "You also liked massaging your backs very much." Consult with the elderly child on various matters, asking, for example, "Do you think our toddler is tired already?" After a while, your firstborn will understand that he has become a full-fledged "expert."from toddlers ". And when it turns out that the baby distinguishes him almost as much as mom and dad, he will be proud and joyful. Praise the elder for every kind gesture towards the baby. Even if you do not approve of the way in which he shows affection for the baby (eg when he loves kissing the infant's fontanel), do not criticize, but rather delicately suggest, eg: I think Winnie likes it best when you stroke his hand ”.Worth knowing
Remember - you are for him and you will be the whole world for a long time. A few-year-old watches mum and dad, who are embarrassed by the whimpering baby. He already knows that he has lost his privileged position and has the right to be dissatisfied. But with your help, he will understand that it is much better to be an older brother than an only child.
Let him get excited
You also need to be prepared for the anger of an older child. Give him the right to it. More than once you may hear: "Because you love her (him) more." Don't panic. Take the little wicked one on your lap, hug, kiss him, reassure you that you fully understand his feelings. But at the same time say that if this baby was not in the world, you would not feel as happy as now, i.e. twice as happy. There is nothing to hide: the arrival of a younger child at home requires parents to focus more on the older one.
Look and listen
Observe his behavior and listen carefully to what he has to say. During the conversation, always look the child in the eye, ask auxiliary questions, show understanding. Help your little one understand that sometimes you don't like someone, even when you love them. However, it may turn out that a child lost in the new situation will not want to talk about their feelings. Do not press. Perhaps it needs more time. Try to organize the care of the baby in such a way that your old boy does not feel pushed to the background. You can, for example, while feeding your baby, read a fairy tale to the older one, teach him a poem or a song.
Only for him
You also need to set aside at least some time to spend it only with an older child. This is very important, especially for a few years old. When the younger one is asleep, suggest, for example, looking at photos of the older child from infancy to make him realize that he was also so tiny in the past. Be aware that your older child may feel that he or she now has to share everything with the "intruder" - you, your time, toys, a place in the room. Show that it is not so. Do not persuade the older child to give the child their old toys (unless they want to), respect their privacy and property rights, not letting the younger one touch the most precious treasuresstarszak.
Divide and rule fairly
Never compare your children, do not criticize and talk. Appreciate all positive gestures. Praise and reward loudly. If you decide to buy a toy for your little one, don't forget about a toy for an older child as well. Ideally, it should be comparable in terms of size, colors and attractiveness. Suggest that your visiting guests also follow this rule. Also, ask them to greet their older siblings first, and then to the youngest, and to give the older son the first gift. And finally, so that, apart from admiration and "crowing" over the baby, they would appreciate the latest achievements of his brother or sister (eg praise them for a beautiful drawing). Also, don't forget to praise your older child in the company of enthusiastic stories about a baby.monthly "M jak mama"