Siblings Without Rivalry?
Is this really possible? We don’t believe so – however, there are ways that we as parents can help children deal with the intense feelings siblings have toward each other.
When a second baby comes into the family, it is sometimes compared to our partner bringing a new lover into the home! This new person takes up an incredible amount of time and attention from the people/person who was the first child’s alone – a huge adjustment for anyone. No amount of cajoling about how great it will be for them to have a playmate (in 12 months time or longer) can make up for this change in position in the family.
One of the most important ways to positively respond to a sibling’s angry feelings toward their brother/sister is to accept their anger. By this we mean, comments such as “yes it must be really hard for you when I need to feed ‘Lucy’ and you want me to play with you”. No adding explanations such as “but Lucy’s only a little baby, she can’t feed herself”. As rational as this is, we need primarily to let our child know we understand their FEELINGS and that these feelings are perfectly normal.