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Concerns About Child's Adjustment to New Sibling

Question

Our 3-year-old daughter has a brother coming early January. I am pretty nervous about how she will react and if I have what it takes to continue to make her feel secure. My brother came when I was 3 and my mother did not handle it too well, I think that's where my concern comes from. We are currently working on her mastering getting her own water, snacks, dressing herself, and putting her own shoes on, dishes away, etc... She has been potty trained for quite some time thanks to John! I feel like I am headed in the right direction but can feel the micromanaging coming on and the war in my head with questions about messing up her life by not making this transition properly. I would absolutely be THRILLED to have your guidance on this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Answer

Congratulations on your new baby due in January and having your daughter potty trained.

The fact that you "can feel the micromanaging coming on" is a red flag that you are on the wrong path. Here are some suggestions you can use to prepare your daughter for the new baby. I am taking a page directly from John Rosemond's book, "Making the Terrible Twos Terrific. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet.

1. Involve your daughter in preparing for the baby, such as shopping for baby furniture, decorating the nursery, and talking about names.

2. Plan ahead: Avoid surprises that might result in feelings of anger or frustration. Don't suddenly give your daughter's bedroom to the baby. Make this type of transition several months before the baby arrives.

3. Talk: Include your daughter in discussions about the baby. Let her feel the baby move, buy a stethoscope so she can hear the baby's heartbeat, Show her pictures of herself when she was a newborn. Talk about her responsibilities when the new baby arrives.

4. Read a book about feeling left out when a new baby arrives by Ezra Jack Keats, "Peter's Chair."

5. Include: Once you arrive home with baby encourage friends and visitors to bring a small surprise for your daughter when they bring gifts for the baby. Be sure they congratulate her and fuss over her being a new big sister.

I am sure you are doing many of these already, but when we are feeling stressed a list can be helpful to get us back on track. Hope it all turns out great for you.

Nadine Knapp
Certified Parenting Coach
Nadine@parentrescue.org

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