Has your firstborn child’s world been thrown for a loop?
Picture this: you have the perfect relationship with your firstborn child. They absolutely adore you. You play together, snuggle together, do everything together. Then, you decide to bring another child into this world, and BAM! Your firstborn hates you.
Now, this just recently happened to me. My hubby and I have the most amazing 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter who we love to pieces. She has always had great manners, been a wonderful listener, and loved her parents equally. Not anymore! Ever since we brought home her baby sister she wants NOTHING to do with mama. Not only that, but she fights both my husband and me every single time we ask her to do anything.
My husband: “Please pick up your blocks.”
Firstborn: “BUT I DON’T WANT TOOOOO!!! I JUST WANNA (Insert something she’s not allowed to do)!!!”
*Falls to the floor dramatically, fake tears ensue, etc.*
You get the gist…….
What can you do to help your child adjust?
Are you dealing with the same problems that I am? If so, have no fear, this will not last forever. Here are some simple coping strategies that I’ve been using to help our firstborn adjust to having a new baby in our home.
Take some time and spend it with JUST your firstborn.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Just ask your significant other, or a relative, to watch your new babe and take your firstborn out! Ideas include: go to the park, go on a nature walk around the neighborhood and look for animals (or plants), special dinner at their favorite (inexpensive) restaurant, etc.
Tell them that you love them, often.
With the emotional meltdowns happening all the time, it may be hard for you to find a time when you can just sit down and tell your child how special they are. When you feel like you are about to lose it, take them in your arms and tell them how much you love them and how special they are to you. Be specific and tell them why.
Include them in everything; make them your helper!
I ask my firstborn to help with EVERYTHING baby related. She gets the diapers, she gets the wipes, she picks out her sister’s clothes, she gets her pacifier, she helps me breastfeed (this is a sight to see!), everything!! It makes her feel important and like she is helping her mommy, which she is!
Ask for help.
There is #noshame in your mom game if you need help! Sometimes you may need to reach out to someone close to you and get out some of that frustration. In addition, your little one may also need to talk to someone about how they are feeling with all the changes. Find someone you or your child can talk to and you both may feel a lot better.
Be patient. This phase will not last forever.
I am already seeing my little girl at the end of the tantrum tunnel. Each day I try to remember that we brought this new gift into her perfect world….and we rocked that world. She needs time to adjust, and we need to be patient, loving, and kind to her while she does.