Older sibling and new baby

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I discovered positive parenting when we had a new baby and my older child wasn’t coping too well. I was stressed, tired, and had no idea what to do without having to raise my voice all the time. I started looking around online and found AhaParenting.com Can’t remember which exact article it was, but it had to be something like the one I am attaching below, about helping an older child transition to a life with a new baby in the house. It made perfect sense, it explained a lot, it gave me suggestions, and it made me want to keep learning more for the sake of both my kids and myself. It happened less than two years ago, and here I am now sharing this information with everyone, because I believe we all deserve better, especially our children.

And here is this wonderful article from AhaParenting.com:
http://www.ahaparenting.com/Default.aspx?PageID=2385861&A=SearchResult&SearchID=6358632&ObjectID=2385861&ObjectType=1

“It is completely natural for your child to be jealous of a new baby. Your goal is to help your child manage that jealousy so love has a chance to grow, and to win out.

9. Don’t make everything about the baby. Keep your cooing for private times. Instead of saying you’re waiting for the baby to wake up before you can go out to play, say you’re waiting for the laundry to finish, or the casserole to bake, or for a phone call. Instead of “When I’m done with the baby I’ll help you,” say “I’ll be there as soon as my hands are free.”

11. Expect grief. Your older child needs to grieve what he’s lost: his exclusive relationship with you. His status as the only child. Your concentrated time and attention. Think of the worst romantic breakup you’ve ever had and multiply by 1000. If he’s whiny and cranky, reframe the way you see him. Your child is in pain. He is mourning. He can’t put into words what he is unhappy about, and he isn’t upset for the reason he thinks. But he needs your help to heal. So when he acts like needy or whiny, hold him and empathize: “Seems like you feel so sad right now. Seems like you hurt inside. You know Mommy loves you soooo much. Mommy is always here for a hug if you feel sad. Come snuggle with me while I feed the baby. Let’s read your favorite books.” Allow him to cry in your arms as much as he wants. Then help him find a way to feel better. Let him see that while he can’t always have what he wants, he can get something that is in some ways even better: A mother who understands and sympathizes, who accepts all of him, and who helps him to feel better.

12. Spend as much positive alone-time as possible every single day with each child. When there’s another adult around, let them hold the baby while you snuggle with your toddler and/or preschooler. When you sit down to feed the baby, invite your older kids over for a read-a-thon. They will look forward to those times.”

Photo: Monica Holli (Flickr)

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