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How to help a child get a new sibling

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Question: Baby No. Arriving on 3 October. I have a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. My son is very attached to me, and although I think it will be helpful for the child in the long run, any tips you have for getting the baby ready will be helpful.

At midnight, we were making it clear (without mentioning the baby) that his father would get him and that he would assist in any activity I normally do (making oatmeal, changing clothes). . When I’m not at home, he allows his father to do all that and more, but when I’m at home, he tends to me. As he says: “Mummy, you’re my super best friend. Daddy’s my best friend. “

A: I laughed when I read, “I think the baby will be helpful in the long run.” We use many words to have children, but “helper” is not popular (especially in the first couple years). But about your worries: your 4-year-old child is so attached to you and you wonder how to prepare him for this change. Good news? Children are more adaptable. People are usually built to weather and grow up with beautiful obstacles such as new baby siblings. The frustration of not having her mother is intense, but your son can work through this and become stronger. As for the bad news: there is not much you can do now to make your son less attached.

Children grow and mature as they belong to their parents and caregivers, and for a 4-year-old child this is quite literal. They need to be physically close to their caregivers and although they love their independent and imaginative game, their attachment band returns to their people when they are tired, worried, scared, hungry or threatened by something or someone else.

Children as young as four do not make good decisions, so staying close to their caregivers will ensure they are safe, physically and emotionally present. This bond is so strong that if you try to take your son away from you, it will only make this bond more active. When you say, “Dad will do all your activities with you,” it will hold you tight. Four-year-old children do not track time properly, so hinting that he will be more with his father in the future will make your son terrified and create more need.

One of the biggest mistakes parents of young children make is to think that they can “logic” to overcome the impending doom. With older children, you may be able to plan, but younger children are emotional beings, and you cannot rationalize your way through these situations.

What should you do? First, trust that your good and loving relationship with your son will carry you through this rough transition. Remember: They care about your connection. If you keep it as your northern star, it’s okay. Second, watch how much logic you are trying to use. Find a development book, and remind yourself what 4-year-olds are capable of (and what they are not). Third, write it down on a note and post it wherever it catches your eye: children are meant to be disappointed and they are meant to cry about being disappointed.

At the end of the day, parents want to make things easier without any pain, no pain. I understand. But children recover by suffering and having loving adults by their side. As you get older and more tired, there will be times when the father will take the children to places without you. It will make you cry and need it from your son, but as long as everyone is loving and comforting, he will get it.

After the baby is born, you will not be able to do everything for your son and for him physically and your son will cry in frustration. This is also true; Love him and embrace him through it. The alternative is to use logic or satisfy his every need, and they are both poor choices.

The person you need to work with is your partner. The more you can agree on who is doing what and when, the better the energy of the home. If you allow your son to separate you and call the shots, frustration and confusion builds, making everyone a bad time. This is not to say that you don’t give up sometimes, but that you and your spouse can stick to the schedule, making everything more relaxed. The more calm the children become, the more mature they become.

Please focus on relaxing, raising your child and enjoying your children. Schedule meetings with your spouse and trust that your son will handle the new baby’s change. Be good.

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