Welcoming a New Sibling

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Koffee With Kelli

Happy Saturday!!

Hope you have time to make coffee and join me for a quiet moment this morning!  I love summer because it gives me time to think about parenting questions that I want to take time with because many are asking the same thing.

This topic has to do with children receiving a new sibling and the behavior they are displaying both in anticipating and after their new baby arrives. Here is what one mother wrote, ”Have you ever had any kids loose themselves before the arrival of a new baby? I seriously don’t recognize M and he is usually the easier of the two (they have twin boys expecting a third son in a few weeks).

I have been pondering this issue for a couple of months now as my oldest daughter (pictured) had her second baby in May and her 2 year old son is having to share his parents.  Since baby Amaja’s arrival, many other friends of Alyse are having their second baby  I have watched and listened to you. Most of you have prepared well for your family’s new baby. You have given ample time, age appropriate explanations and lots of affirmation to your existing child. You have bought the big brother/sister t-shirt, had friends bring sibling gifts to the baby shower, showed them the ultra sound picture and had them practice the new baby’s name.  You have talked with them about how important they are and what a great big brother/sister they are going to be…that God has picked them to lead their siblings. You have done a wonderful job.

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Sometimes the anticipation of the coming baby goes smoother than the actual arrival

Here is the hard truth. Do you remember before you got married attending the re-marital classes? I remember thinking, “let’s hurry because this is going to be a piece of cake.” But then you find out, the reality of marriage is a little different than the class. In marriage, an adoption or a new baby, our own selfish nature is exposed. And I don’t mean just for the older sibling… dad’s desires, my desires, our family system gets exposed. We are faced with the reality that we cannot have everything we want or things just the way we want them all the time.  We have a hard time sharing our spouse, our parents, our time, our homes, our money and our gifts and talents. But working through the tension of this is a good thing for all of us. When our children begin to cope with a new baby by acting out, many times we are shocked, then empathetic, then angry, and finally guilt ridden.  We move into trying to pacify them. We feel badly because we are overwhelmed with caring for this new baby.

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Enjoying a cute moment with little sister!

May I suggest a compassionate, but just training for this nature that tends to spoil our Kodak moments as we are celebrating our new baby?

  1. Be aware that we are living in a very selfish culture that wants to elevate personal pleasure and needs before all else. Its first response is, ”You deserve time and attention from your parents…”
  2. This is not the last time our children will need to manage their emotions and behavior in the name of being happy for someone else. It is a great teachable moment(s)!!!
  3. The most loving thing to do is to train our children to be self controlled and obey the first time instruction are given; especially when it is hard (ie someone new is moving in)!!!
  4. The more connected and united mom and dad are in their relationship and with this training, the better the child will do. Children take their cues from us. If we are feeling guilty, insecure and unsure of how our children will do… so will they!
  5. Most importantly, this is a wonderful time to model for the child how much their Heavenly Father loves them and has a purpose for their lives. In some small way we begin to point them to the only one who will ever fully satisfy them.

In the meantime remember that guilt isn’t of the Lord! Enjoy your new one and know that as you endeavor to love and nurture all of your kids, the truth will win out. There is always an adjustment period with any new change; this is no different. You know way more than you think you do. Continuing to do what you know is best and right for your kids will always be the way to go. Trust your mothering instincts… and know I’m in your corner cheering you on!