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Siblings at Peace: How to Handle Rivalry with a Newborn!


Congratulations, you are now a proud parent of two or more children! While it is an exciting time for you and your family, the arrival of a new baby can also bring a lot of stress and changes, especially for the older siblings. Sibling rivalry is a common issue that arises when a new baby enters the family. The jealousy and resentment that the older siblings feel towards the new baby can be difficult to handle, but it is not impossible to overcome. In this guide, we will provide you with practical tips on how to handle sibling rivalry with a new baby.

Siblings at Peace: How to Handle Rivalry with a Newborn!

Understanding Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a natural and common phenomenon that occurs in families with more than one child. It is the competition, jealousy, and conflicts that arise between siblings, and it can manifest in different ways, such as fighting, arguing, and attention-seeking behavior. Sibling rivalry can be more intense when a new baby arrives because the older child may feel like they are losing their place in the family, and the new baby is getting all the attention and care.

Tips for Handling Sibling Rivalry

Prepare your older child before the baby arrives

One of the best ways to prevent sibling rivalry is to prepare your older child for the arrival of the new baby. You can talk to them about the changes that will happen, show them pictures of babies, and involve them in the preparation process, such as decorating the baby's room or choosing baby clothes. This will help them feel included and excited about the new addition to the family.

Set aside one-on-one time with your older child

When the baby arrives, it is natural to focus most of your attention on the new baby. However, it is essential to make time for your older child as well. Set aside some one-on-one time each day, even if it is just for a few minutes, to play a game, read a book, or do an activity that they enjoy. This will help them feel loved and valued and reduce feelings of jealousy and resentment.

Siblings at Peace: How to Handle Rivalry with a Newborn!


Encourage your older child to help

Involving your older child in caring for the new baby can help them feel important and responsible. You can ask them to help with simple tasks, such as fetching diapers or singing a lullaby, and praise them for their efforts. This will also help them develop a bond with the new baby and reduce feelings of rivalry.

Don't compare your children

It is important not to compare your children or favor one over the other. Each child is unique and special in their way, and it is essential to celebrate their differences and achievements. Comparing your children can lead to feelings of inadequacy and resentment, and it can escalate sibling rivalry.

Set clear boundaries and consequences

Sibling rivalry can sometimes lead to physical or verbal fights. It is essential to set clear boundaries and consequences for inappropriate behavior. You can establish rules such as no hitting and consequences such as time-outs or loss of privileges. Consistency is key when enforcing these rules.


Be patient and understanding

Handling sibling rivalry can be challenging, and it takes time and patience. Understand that your older child is going through a significant change, and it may take some time for them to adjust. Be patient with them and offer support and understanding as they navigate their feelings.

Handling sibling rivalry with a new baby can be a challenging task, but with the right strategies and mindset, it is possible to overcome it. Remember to prepare your older child for the arrival of the new baby, set aside one-on-one time with them, encourage them to help, avoid comparisons, set clear boundaries, and be patient and understanding.



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Siblings at Peace: How to Handle Rivalry with a Newborn!


Angela M. Cantoni - Editor and Founder of FUN WITH KIDS IN LA



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