I was asked to talk about sibling rivalry and how to prepare an only child for the coming of a sibling last Monday in Rise and Shine. For those who do not know, its a morning talk show at UNTV (a cable channel) and I have guested there 2x already.
Sibling rivalry is something that I am fully aware of for I have experienced this. I have an older sister, 2 younger brothers, and one younger sister. I am a normally jealous person and when my younger siblings were born, I was not a happy camper. Actually, to say that I wasn't a happy camper would be an understatement.
My suggestion then to ensure that your child does not end up like me who tried to sell my brothers to the next door neighbor would then be the following:
1. Talk to your child. Explain what is happening and make them a part of the process. Usually, the kid gets placed on the sidelines and this is where resentment builds.
2. Assure them that they are not being replaced. They are normally the star and when the baby comes, definitely the attention will be taken away. It is up to you to make them understand that even when it does, he is still definitely a star in your world.
3. Make believe. Play with your child using dolls and situations. Show him how he can be a better person and take care of a small thing who will be dependent on him. Play up the protective instinct and nurture it. This will also help make your child a better person in the long run.
4. Make time. Yes, the pregnancy can be exhausting and giving birth will be time consuming and taking care of a baby draining but you NEED to make time. You NEED to.
Lastly, PRAY. Pray for guidance and wisdom and pray for understanding. At the end of the day, all we can do is hope and pray that things will turn out to be good but a little push here and there will definitely help in the long run.