New baby: Help combat sibling rivalry

Your new born baby has arrived but your older child is not as excited about the new arrival. How can you make it easier for your child to cope?

  • Involve your child in caring for the baby and show your appreciation.
  • Buy a doll and encourage your child to copy your behaviour when you are taking care of the baby.
  • Make sure that your child is occupied during feeding times. Reading to your child while you are feeding is a good idea.
  • Spend quality time with your child when the baby is sleeping.
  • Reward positive behaviour towards the baby.
  • Constantly reassure your child that you love and care about him or her.
  • Make your child feel special. Praise his or her strengths, talents and accomplishments.
  • Don’t feel too anxious when your child struggles to cope with the new sibling. It is normal for him or her to take a while to adapt.
  • If your child refuses to go back to school, don’t force him. Allow him to stay home but make your day boring and dull.

(Ilse Pauw, Health24, 2008)

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