If you’ve more than one child, you know how irritating, hurtful and annoying (did I mention annoying) it is to have kids who don’t always get along. It’s par for the course, naturally, to have kids who argue and disagree and tell on one another with regularity, but your kids don’t have to dislike one another. Your child will always fight with the other child, but you can make sure that they get along most of the time. Teaching your older children to love their new baby sibling is the best way to ensure your kids get along as they grow up.
This means starting immediately as soon as you become pregnant with subsequent children. Talk to your older child about what it means to have another baby. Be sure to repeatedly remind your child that you’re not having another because he or she is not special to you. When the new baby comes, explain why he or she gets special treatment, such as getting out of bed at night to eat or being picked up when he or she cries. Your child needs to understand why this happens so that they don’t feel one is getting special treatment over the other.
Curb Your Anger
It’s easy to want to panic and have a fit when your older child does something inappropriate with the new baby. For example, when your three-year-old picks up the baby while you’re fetching a bottle, you might want to react with anger and discipline. This is a surefire way to build resentment in your older child. Instead, teach your child the appropriate way to do things, such as asking first if he or she can hold the baby so that you have control of the situation. This builds appropriate behavior and eliminates resentment and hurt.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Whenever your older child does something well or accomplishes something, use positive reinforcement. This helps your child understand that he or she is just as important and just as special to you as the new baby. Positivity goes a lot further than any other type of reinforcement.
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