The duration of the situation of jealousy that a child lives in the family depends a lot on the actions of the parents. Its consequences on the eldest child or eldest children can remain in a temporary crisis, suffered within reasonable limits, or become entrenched throughout childhood. Parental intervention is essential so that jealousy does not represent suffering for the older child, avoiding that the rivalry between the children is lasting.
The effects of poorly resolved jealousy can change the character of the child or increase some defects of his temperament such as selfishness, envy or greed.No child is prepared to receive another sibling and the receipt of the news depends solely on their parents. For this reason, psychologists recommend that parents be the first to notify their child of the arrival of a new sibling, before someone else gets ahead.
It is advisable to speak with great affection and tact so that the child knows clearly what is going to happen. If you are concerned that he may feel displaced, you can ask him for his opinion about the decoration of the little brother's room, about his clothes or the toys that he can leave him, now that he is older.
Explain that his brother is going to love him very much and that he will be able to take care of you and protect you. In addition, it can teach you a lot of things. It is recommended that, from the second trimester of pregnancy, your child begins to communicate with his brother through his mother's navel to establish a first communication link between the two.
Whenever possible, the mother should say goodbye to her child before going to the maternity ward. It is convenient that the person who is going to take care of you, does it at home. The child will feel more secure. Remind your child of the reasons for some absences and share everything that is happening with him. Even if you are in the hospital, call him on the phone to ask about his activities.
The role of the father, in these moments, must be even more visible. And when possible, accompany your son to the hospital to visit his mother and meet his little brother. An important detail may be to receive you at the hospital with a gift, brought to you by your new little brother.
The moment of returning home is the one that demands the most tact. It is recommended that you show your child the joy you feel when you return and see that you are all together again. If possible, show an interest in hearing everything the older man tells you about the days he was without his mother at home. The child needs the security and trust of his parents now more than ever. So don't feel guilty if your child starts to suffer with jealousy. The only thing you can do is give him affection and warn the visitors so that they pay attention to him as well and not just the newborn.
It is important not to change the routine of the child after the birth of his brother, avoiding not to alter the customs that you had before the new baby was born. Try to participate in their games, be at the table at lunch or dinner, prepare their favorite snack and allow them to snuggle in your arms. Make sure that the moment you had reserved for him is not altered and make him participate in the care of his new brother. Thus, for him too, the family will be a team effort.
1. Prepare him during his brother's pregnancy
From the fourth month of gestation, it would be good to explain to your child that you carry his baby brother in the womb, and that he or she will not only be his brother (a) as his friend (a) for life. That they will share games, toys, funny moments and everything else. That the family will be bigger and happier. Answer all the questions he or she asks you, lovingly. Every day, you should remind your child about that and make him participate in what is changing in your body, how the belly grows, etc.
2. Avoid changing routines and habits with your child
Many times, the fatigue of the pregnant woman makes her stop doing routine activities with the child. As much as possible, prevent that from happening. If you cannot be with your child, ask the father to be there for you. You must maintain the entire routine of play, care, outings, with the child, before and after childbirth. Moments with the older brother should always be kept.
3. Make him responsible for his little brother and value his help
When the baby is born, have his brother help you bathe him, clean him, sing him a song, or just watch him while you have to do something in the kitchen, for example. Avoid comparisons and comments that the baby behaves, sleeps, or eats better than his older brother.
4. Be tolerant and patient with your brother's jealousy.
Jealousy is very normal for the evolution of children. By overcoming them, children will mature. There are cases in which the brother suffers a regression or a maturational setback, that is, he wants a pacifier again, or to piss on himself, or even to use baby language. Be patient, think that it is a necessary stage and that together you are going to overcome it.
5. Praise your achievements and teach your brother empathy
The brother continues to grow, learn and do new things. Time has not stopped for him. So he recognizes his achievements such as tying his shoes by himself, getting his first steps, or writing a letter of the alphabet, etc. Take the opportunity to teach him to put himself in the place of others to help them grow like him.
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