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Helping Older Child Adjust to New Baby


By Jodie Lynn
www.ParentToParent.com



QUESTION:

My son is 10 and I just had a baby girl. What is the best way to help him understand that he is still important and greatly loved but that his new little sister needs more attention? He seems very jealous and I just don't know how to help him adjust to it all.

ANSWER FROM READER:

Although our son was a little older when we had our second baby, he was still jealous. He was fifteen at the time but still needed for his mom and I to take him to school and various sport activities. We tried to get him involved in the new baby's life but he really did not want to participate. The main reason was that his friends made fun of him. However, when his grandparents came in from out of town for a bit, my wife and I would take advantage of the visit and have lunch or dinner while we left the four of them together. He greatly respected their opinion and when they asked him to do something for the new baby, he did so without hesitation. His grandfather also told stories about how he used to care for me when I was an infant. Our son thought this was awesome and started looking forward to helping with his new sister. If you have a relative that your son really respects, ask if they could perhaps come over and stay with the kids while you two go out for a few hours. It could provide just the right situation to expand your son's interest in the baby. - Jon and Jana Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah

FROM JODIE:

Your son is at a good age to teach him how to care for an infant and at the same time remind him of how much attention he required as a baby. Share various experiences that you remember about him that relate to whatever is currently taking place with his new baby sister. Explain basics to him such as how it is necessary to burp her properly so that her tummy can settle and she will be more satisfied. Tell him how good it would be to have her big brother help her to grow up to be a smart and happy child like him. Be sure to hang pictures of him in her room and suggest that he pick out which ones he would like to "give" her. Once you feel he has built a friendship with her ask if he would like to give her a nickname. He will likely give it much thought and bond with her even more.

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CAN YOU HELP?

Since my husband and I both lost our jobs, our four kids will spend a lot more time outside playing this summer. Unfortunately, our neighbors are already beginning to complain about the noise from their games. How is the best way to handle the neighbors, give my children followable guidelines on neighborhood and noise rules and find a balance that will keep peace with everyone?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact @parenttoparent.com, or go to www.parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including eDiets.com, KeepKidsHealthy.com, ClubMom.com, BabyUniverse.com, CatholicMom.com, MainStreetMom.com and MommiesMagazine.com. Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit www.ParentToParent.com for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.

 

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