2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Are you expecting the arrival of a baby and you want to adequately prepare your eldest? Worried about his possible reactions and want to ensure a smooth and smooth transition?
The arrival of a child turns the whole family upside down, despite the joy it brings. It is said that the family is greater than the sum of its parts, i.e. the change (change of job of a parent, conflict between a parent and the extended family) the addition (a birth, a adoption) or the removal of a person (for example, a big child leaving the nest) has an impact on all family members and all subsystems family. What do we mean by “family subsystems”?
It is these relationships that are created and maintained within the family unit itself; the relationship between spouses, the relationship between mum and child 1, mum and child 2, dad and child 1, dad and child 2, the dynamic when dad is with the children, when mum is with children, etc.
Routine turned upside down
Let's say that the arrival of a little cherub causes many changes in a routine that has been established for some time. Parents are more tired, less patientand more irritable as a result; mom is less available than before for the eldest; dad can no longer consistently read the story when he tries to put baby to sleep; son's bath time no longer takes place with both parents; little girl no longer benefits from the presence of both her parents in the stands during her skating lessons, etc.
These modifications can generate frustrations, feelings of jealousy and incomprehension in the senior… and this is completely normal! Until recently, he was an only child, right? He was the tallest and the shortest in the family, which is no longer the case. He must learn to share the attention of his parents, his room, his toys and his space. He once grew up in a relatively quiet household and now baby cries can be heard in the background. Ouch!
Good things to do
Although many emotions and situations remain inevitable, it is important to prepare our eldest well for what is to come. Depending on his age, he may not be able to anticipate all the changes that will be made to his daily life.
If our child is very young (between 1 and 4 years old), some simple gestures can be initiated; these gestures can help her imagine what it will be like when baby is here and answer some of these questions.
Here are some examples
- Make him stroke mom's belly
- Make him talk to the round belly (yes!) by telling him that this way, his little brother or hislittle sister will get used to the sound of her voice,
- Include it in certain stages of the preparation for the arrival of the baby(purchase of a stuffed animal/cuddly toy for the little one, for example)
- Read albums where the main character experiences the same thing or,
- Watch a show or movie in which a child will become a big brother or a big sister
The older the child, the more he can be involved in the various tasks preceding the arrival of the baby: taking him to buy furniture for the room of the little one to come, asking his opinion on the room decoration, etc. All this will make him feel that he has a role to play, that this role is important and above all, valued.
Happy family expansion!