A new sibling can evoke feelings of happiness, confusion, jealousy and excitement in your other children. Depending on their age and maturity levels, there are different ways to approach the topic. Having the patience and making the effort to help your children adjust to the transition will make for a happier home and family.
Don’t Tell Younger Children Too Early
Children who are pre-school age and younger may have difficulty grasping the concept of time. Telling them too far in advance of the due date will be confusing. Wait until the due date is closer to tell them. Children in elementary school have a better idea of time, so it’s okay to tell them once you are out of the first trimester.
Involve Them in Preparations
Buying a new car seat, having a baby shower or preparing a room are all exciting preparations for your new child. Get other children in on the excitement by letting them be involved in the preparations. Allowing them to choose an outfit or toy may help increase their excitement.
Stick to Routines
Many children feel jealous or scared because a new sibling can interrupt their own routine. Stick to the same routine as much as possible by being organized. Find someone to care for your children while you are in the hospital, organize rides so after-school activities can still be attended, make sure favorite snacks are in the cupboard and ensure babysitters stick to your regular schedule.
Sibling rivalry is an age old tradition that rings true in every household. When people live together there are bound to be disagreements, but the spats between siblings can rise to extreme heights at times if left unchecked. Below are three powerful tips that you may not have considered to help stop sibling rivalry.
- Attack the Root
Sibling rivalries stem from different situations and circumstances that cause the children to feeling a certain way. There are a few common feelings that can spark a rivalry:
- Feelings of injustice
- Compounded resentment
- Craving attention
Sometimes as parents, there might be an event or a life changing circumstance that affects the way you relate to your children. Perhaps you recently went through a divorce. Or perhaps you lost one of your children in an accident. Or it could simply be that the day to day responsibilities of home and work somehow required putting the relationships you have with your children aside temporarily.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to return to the basics of parenting from time to time. To refresh yourself on what’s necessary and important for facilitating healthy psychological and emotional development.
First and foremost, research indicates that parents need to provide consistent care to their children. And this begins from infancy. Studies show that an infant must develop a strong bond with at least one primary caregiver in order to appropriately develop socially and emotionally. In order for this bond to become secure between infant and caregiver, the following must happen:
- The caregiver must be responsive and sensitive in the way that he or she responds to the infant.
- The child must be able to consistently rely on the caregiver for soothing in times of stress.
- The caregiver must remain a constant in the child’s life from 6 months to approximately 2 years of age.
When there are children involved in a divorce, parental care for those children must continue despite the marital split. If individuals cannot agree on when and how their children will be cared for, it is sometimes agreed upon during the legal proceedings. For instance, a parent who is working full time may only be able to care for his or her children on the weekends and on holidays. Perhaps the other parent has the children during the week.
If you’re not involved in a legal situation with your partner but you have children together, likely you’re trying to figure out between the two of you how to meet the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of your children even through the divorce. Whether you’re in a legal situation or not, there are going to have to be conversations, communication, and contact with the other parent for the sake of the children. Knowing how to do that in a way that keeps the children’s best interest in mind is at the heart of a gentle divorce. Continue reading
If you are parents of a child who is heavily involved in sports, there are some cautions you might want to take on behalf of your children. As parents raising a family in Los Angeles, there are a variety of sports that your child might be involved in including swimming, surfing, basketball, football, or track. However, if the demands of being on a sports team is getting in the way of your child’s life at school or home, then you may want to know about the following resources.
For instance, not only are young athletes faced with academic stress but they may also feel the pressure to perform, to keep their bodies in shape, and to succeed in their chosen sport. To help children and teens with these demands, many universities, high schools, and community organizations provide academic and athletic support programs. For the most part, these programs are aimed at meeting the academic, personal and professional development needs of student athletes.
For instance, the UCLA Academic & Student Services Office (AS2) and its S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Program is a diverse program with a wide variety of objectives. They are focused on easing the stress of a student athletes that have both professional and academic goals. They recognize and celebrate student athletic successes. They provide opportunities for the development of leadership and mastery. They strive to create and support an environment that harnesses intellectual discipline, creativity, problem solving, independence, and responsibility. Their mission is to provide an interactive learning environment that emphasizes life-long learning habits, goal setting, teamwork, leadership and character. Continue reading
Even though the average age of beginning drug use is around 14 year old, talking to your child about drugs can begin as early as 6 or 7. Even during this young age, there are teachable moments to encourage your child’s avoidance of substance use later in life.
For instance, if you see a billboard or television commercial highlighting the use of cigarettes, a parent might talk with their child about smoking, nicotine addiction, and what smoking does to a person’s body. This might lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they can potentially cause harm. Parents can keep the tone of these discussions calm, using terms their child can understand. As parents and children are spending time in various parts of Los Angeles, they might witness people drinking or smoking, which can also be points for discussion. Parents should be specific about the effects of the drugs, including how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose, and the other long-term damage they can cause.
Sadly, according to a 2009 federal survey, one in 10 children ages 12 to 17 use illicit drugs on a regular basis. However, according to Dr. Joseph Lee, Medical Director of the Hazelden Center for Youth and Family, an addiction treatment facility in Minneapolis, there are many simple steps that parents can take to prevent drug use in their children. In fact, these are simple and effective ways that parents help their children avoid the pitfalls of alcohol and drug use later in life: Continue reading