Sibling Bonding

Helping siblings to get along with each other as they grow up together can be quite difficult for parents especially if there is a small age gap between each child. Many pregnant women worry about how their first baby will cope with a new addition to the family, but this is a common fear. It is important to remember that quite often siblings do fight, shout and scream but they also play, laugh and interact with each other. There are certain things you can do to help your children develop close bonds which can last a lifetime.

Make time for your Toddler

When you have a newborn baby it can be difficult to make quality time with your toddler. This is because the first few weeks after birth are quite hectic, adjusting to the new baby and feeding amongst many other things. There are things you can do with your toddler to ensure that he or she doesn’t feel left out. Just by giving your toddler a cuddle or reading a bed time story you can help them to feel happier and equally loved.

Every parent loves their children equally and wants to give them attention, and there are ways to ensure that everyone is happy. When your newborn baby is asleep you could spend time with your toddler and make the effort to interact and tell them how much you love them. If you are going to breastfeed you could ask your toddler to sit next to you while you tell a story or sing a nursery rhyme.

Many toddlers crave their parent’s attention and sometimes jealousy can begin when they see that one child is getting more attention than they are. You must make sure that you give your children equal attention. If you compliment one child then you should make sure you share praise with other siblings, or sibling rivalry can develop. It is important to look into the needs of both children and let each of them know how much they are loved.

Encourage your child to care for their sibling

You can encourage your first born to develop a caring and nurturing relationship with their sibling by saying things like, “Why don’t you sing your brother a nursery rhyme... he likes your nursery rhymes”.  Your first born will then be encouraged to participate in the newborn baby’s life and they will also feel wanted and important. 

You can also adopt methods of encouragement by telling your child to give her brother or sister a kiss or hug when he or she is crying. This will help your toddler to focus on good nurturing qualities which can enhance the relationship between the two children.

You can also try watching them interact and play together, and if accidents occur you can see if your toddler will come to the rescue or hug and kiss their brother or sister.

Tackling sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a fact of life. It happens in most families and quite often subsides as they grow older.  Your children cannot be expected to express nurturing, supportive characters all the time and at some point they will fight with each other, but this is inevitable when you have more than one child. Try teaching your children positive ways to work things out as everyone needs to take their frustration out at some point.

Help your child to identify their feelings. This will help your child to identify the cause of his or her upset and find a way to deal with their anger and emotions. By talking, listening and sharing ideas you can aid in finding positive solutions to tackling sibling rivalry.

If your child starts to show tantrums by stomping their feet or trying to harm each other then calm them down .Try identifying the cause and encourage them to talk about it with you. They will feel that you care about their feelings and understand them better.

Listening to both sides of the conflict

If your two children, or more, are having a conflict then you should give equal attention when listening to both sides of the story. Don’t be tempted to accuse one child over the other. Encourage your children to talk and listen to each other calmly and carefully and make sure that neither feels resentment to the other. If you listen to how hurt a sibling is then they may feel that you care about them and that you do not side with one over the other.

Arrange activities they both enjoy

Arranging activities you know your children will both enjoy, such as day trip to the beach or a picnic in the park on a summer’s day will help your children to bond. There are many children’s activity centres around the country that cater for toddlers and you can even bring your newborn along to watch them play.

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