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Guide 2 Parenting   >   Sibling Jealousy

Childrens's Jealousy of a New Baby

Sibling rivalries are something that any parent with more than one child has to face. Fighting between brothers and sisters or both may be something that you have to deal with for a long time, but the good news is that there are effective ways of handling and understanding this situation without getting all stressed out.

It's important not to overreact and excite yourself too much when it comes to jealousy between your children, especially if the older one is of preschool age. It is completely understandable that your older child may have some feelings of resentment and frustration, because no child wants to give up the spotlight of parental affection for a fairly new addition to the family. It will take time for your child to realize that his mommy and daddy don't love him any less just because they now have a second child that may be taking up more attention.

If your older child makes fun of, or ridicules the baby then do not punish him. Instead, take him aside and spend some time with him. If you punish oldest child every time that he expresses feelings of unhappiness, you will end-up making him feel that the new baby really is more important than him, and thus exacerbating the situation.

Sometimes older children may start to imitate the new baby. They may for example start sucking their own thumb, try to crawl into the crib, or otherwise behave like the baby. If they do this, it's their method of asking for more attention.

The automatic response of most parents is to tell the child not to act like a baby and whisk him off to another area where he feels left out. That's unnecessary - there is nothing with allowing him to act the part for some of the time. However, be sure to only this mimicry to only go on a short period each time, and do not reward it with extra attention. Make it totally clear to your oldest child that he does not have to act like a baby to get the love, attention, and affection that he feels he is missing.

The best approach is praise your child more when he acts more "grown up". You can start by giving your child plenty of opportunities to act like the older brother, to help take care of the baby, and to know that he will be praised when helps mommy and daddy with his little brother or little sister. By this means, you teach him to act as himself, and that he will be appreciated for it. .

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