new siblings: 2 Articles

Welcoming a New Sibling: Strategies to Help Ease the Transition

Young children go through many, sometimes challenging, developmental phases. Magination Press’s Big Little Talks series by Alberto Pellai, MD, PhD, and Barbara Tamborini, provide fun stories to ease both parents and children through typical and common life stages using empathic listening and encouraging an understanding of age-appropriate behavior and emotions. Welcoming a new family member is a challenge for the whole family. Everyone has to learn to adjust and adapt! This adapted excerpt from the Reader’s Note in the Big Little Talks book, Oh Brother! provides strategies for parents to help their preschooler adjust to the arrival of a new sibling.  Identify and Express Emotions. While young children may not understand their emotions, what they are often struggling with when a new sibling is on the way is the fear that sharing mom and dad means sharing their love. Your preschooler has very simple thoughts and may struggle to express their emotions in words. Parents can help them understand what they’re feeling with simple phrases: “The new baby will be here soon; I can see that you’re upset, and that’s OK. Let’s go on a nice run together and get rid of some of that energy you are feeling.” Prepare the Child for the Arrival of the Baby. The waiting period before the arrival of the new sibling is an important time to prepare your older child. Make them feel that they will be an important part of their new sibling’s life. “We’re going to need to get to know your new sibling. I will need your help to understand what things they like or don’t like.” Ensure, Whenever Possible, Equality and Fairness. This is true our whole lives: the more parents are able to be fair and impartial with their children, the better the children will get along. This doesn’t mean you should give everyone the same things: everyone is different and has individual needs. Being fair means taking the time to understand the needs and emotions of each child: acknowledge wrongs done, find solutions, console them, etc. A child of 3 or 4 should see that their pain is taken seriously by their parents. For example, if the younger child breaks something of the older sibling, don’t trivialize it by scolding them: “but she is little, don’t get angry with her!” This response assumes that the child is old enough to empathize with their little sibling, but their brains really aren’t quite there yet. Instead, find a solution, “Let’s find a place where you can keep all your favorite things safe, so that your little sister doesn’t ruin them.” Understand the Older Sibling’s Needs.  The firstborn may “regress,” inventing care needs similar to those of the baby. Let them know that it’s not wrong to ask for special attention, even if they have outgrown some of these care needs. If you allow them to play at being little for a while and enjoy some special attention, they will feel listened to and soon return to the world

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Welcoming a New Sibling: Strategies to Help Ease the Transition 2020-10-14T21:04:02-04:00

Share Wordless Books to Ease Young Children’s Transitions

When you are a little kid, everything is new. The unknown can be unsettling, making changes and transitions challenging. As the parent of a toddler or preschooler, helping your child feel safe and confident involves providing consistency and routine when you can, and helping your child understand upcoming events and changes in their lives. Sharing a book is a great way to help your toddler or preschooler calm the anxiety or tension that comes with change or transitions. Wordless books are especially good for this age group. By talking about the pictures with your child, you can create a story together that your child can relate to. Sleepy Time and Baby Belly by Patricia Martin are wordless board books from Magination Press that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. They explore two common experiences for young children: bedtime and the impending arrival of a new sibling. Getting ready for bed can be a soothing routine, but it can be stressful, too. Everyone is tired at the end of the day, sometimes making the steps more challenging. By keeping to a routine, your little one knows what to expect and can feel some control over the situation. Reading Sleepy Time with your child provides you and your child the opportunity to talk about your family’s own bedtime routine, and can set the stage for your child’s bedtime process. Baby Belly chronicles a young child’s observation that his mom’s tummy is getting bigger and bigger. The child’s curious and sometimes skeptical expression conveys his wonder and speculation about the changes in his mom and his life. Highlighting Mom’s gradually growing tummy, the pictures show the family preparing for and welcoming a new baby. Talking about this process, and how the child and mom might be feeling, by reading Baby Belly is an excellent way to introduce a young child to the idea of a new sibling.  Don’t be thrown by wordless books. They provide you with the freedom to tailor the story to your child’s experiences, interests, and attention span. By talking about the pictures with your child, and asking questions and listening to your child’s answers, you can personalize the story! Here are some tips to make your wordless book experience successful: Talk about the pictures. Describe what is happening in the pictures. Ask your child what they see.  Make connections to your child’s experiences. Point out similarities: “Look! He has a toy elephant too!” “What kinds of toys do you like to play with in the bathtub?” Explore feelings. Encourage your child to look carefully at the character’s expressions and the pictures in general. Ask your child how she thinks a character feels. Name different feelings. Read it again. Repetition is soothing and builds familiarity and vocabulary. Let your child read the story.  After you’ve shared a wordless book a few times with your child, ask your child to read it to you. Let them tell the story as they see it.  Follow their lead. If your child wants to linger

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Share Wordless Books to Ease Young Children’s Transitions 2020-03-23T14:16:13-04:00