One thing I know for sure is that your kids won't always understand why a new baby is being introduced into the kid club in your home. This viral video is hilarious and shows a very outspoken toddler taking his mom to task on why she's choosing to have yet another baby when she already has her hands full with two. He even says it’s "exasperating" and apparently he doesn't have the time or patience to deal with a crying baby cramping his style especially when his sister's constant whines are killing his vibe.
The funny thing is that this actually happened to me after the birth of my first son. My two daughters were so baffled by his presence that they teamed up to ask me why did I have him and why was he even here? Understandably, kids care about themselves and when a new kid comes along, there is no allegiance. That's when the milky battle lines are drawn, giving birth to sibling rivalry.
When my kids questioned the birth of my son, it actually prompted me to even write a book about it called Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too, where two precocious kids talk to their new brother in baby talk to get him to do naughty things like take out the trash and do their homework while they parade around like princesses. I have five kids in all, so I've dealt with everything from constant questioning, eye rolling and all-out defiance for introducing a strange baby into the brood.
Of course we love our kids but since a new baby consumes so much time and attention sometimes we fall short on making other kids feel involved and connected especially when we’re busy balancing work, appointments and social activities.
Maybe the kid in the video felt that way when his sister came along and now he's totally ready to jump ship once new baby comes ashore.
Here are a few ways to make sure your kids welcome a new baby.
This is an idea I came up when I had my son. I asked my daughters to plan a party for their new brother. They thought of all the ideas and activities and even though the party was about him, it was also about them. Since they were able to take the reins and plan it out, it became an ode to their baby brother and it was a gesture that seared deep into their heart for their sibling and helped them to become more connected and less jealous.
Even though my son is 6 years old now, I still have special nights out with just the girls where we go skating. It still makes them feel special because they do feel like having one boy make him more special, even though it doesn't. I'm conscious of that and make sure I have that time with the girls without him. When a new baby comes along, ask grandmom or dad to care for the newborn while you go out to dinner or have a fun night out at the arcade or skating rink. You will definitely earn major points for caring enough about them to leave baby behind.
Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood says that physical touch is essential to making your child feel connected and special.
Bedtime stories after your child brushes his/her teeth is a great way to take time to cuddle up. Although parents love to hug and cuddle their newborn, and rightfully so, special cuddle moments are what will help bridge the green-eyed gap between siblings.
Hopefully with a little planning, your children will welcome a new baby with open arms and not ire.
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