How to Prepare Your Kids for Separation

How to Prepare Your Kids for Separation

How to prepare your kids for separation? When parents expect a new baby, they often have fears about how their existing children will adapt. The older will feel jealous of the new arrival? Are they going to show anger and resentfulness? Will they see this as a threat to their position in the family? All these questions come with good reason. Many children react negatively upon hearing the news that mom will have another child. 

There is nothing wrong with them feeling this way! It’s perfectly normal for children fear being displaced by a sibling. Most toddlers would certainly rather play alone than share mommy and daddy’s attention with someone else! There are several things parents can do.  To reassure their older children that they’re still an essential part of the family unit and to help them understand why a new baby is so wonderful.

Recognize Your Child’s Feelings

When a long-awaited sibling finally arrives, it can be upsetting for both the parents and the older child. A good parent needs to remember this. Make every effort not to let their excitement overshadow what might be very negative emotions on the side of the other kid. It’s often helpful to discuss these fears with your child ahead of time. Explaining that everyone is going through significant changes. And things will probably feel different for a little while. Soon enough, everything is sure to feel just as familiar as before! Older siblings need reassurance like this from time to time, especially during their early years.

mother hugging child

Be Supportive

Suppose the older child is having a hard time with the new baby’s arrival. In that case, they need to know that there are people in their corner. People who will support and encourage them through this particularly tough transition. Siblings need to understand that even though things have changed, parents will always be there for them. Once they get used to the idea of sharing mommy and daddy’s attention with someone else, most kids will learn how much fun it can be to play with a new baby!

A good parent knows their children well enough to make a good read on how they might react to a new baby. Some kids will show anger and resentment right away. Some will be more reserved in their judgment of the situation. Others will seem unaffected one way or the other. Regardless of which category your child falls into, you need to have a good sense of how they feel so that you can respond accordingly.

Any time you sense that your older children are having trouble adjusting to the news that mommy will have another baby, talk about it with them! Make sure they understand that this means mommy and daddy love each other very much, but also let them know that you’re ready and willing to answer any questions they might have about what all this means for them and especially for the new baby.

Attending doctor’s appointments with you can also be an excellent opportunity to talk about your older children’s concerns. Be sure that they understand any medical jargon your child uses with their healthcare provider, and make sure that you stay assured of what is being said!

Schedule Time Together

There are plenty of ways to help kids feel loved and wanted, but one thing, in particular, is known to help ease feelings of resentment on the part of an older sibling: spending more time with mom or dad (or both)! It’s not always easy during the early days when a new baby has just arrived, and everyone involved is adjusting to life with a tiny stranger in tow; however, it can be done!

There Are Plenty of Ways to Help Kids Feel Loved and Wanted

But one thing, in particular, is known to help ease feelings of resentment on the part of an older sibling: spending more time with mom or dad (or both)! It’s not always easy during the early days when a new baby has just arrived, and everyone involved is adjusting to life with a tiny stranger in tow; however, it can be done!

 

Have Your Older Child Help Out

Having your older child participate in caretaking activities involving the newest addition to the family can also go a long way toward building their sense of self-worth and helping them adjust well to the changes ahead. For instance, you could have your older child help bathe and dress the new baby – giving them a chance to show off their knowledge of how babies should be treated!

Having an Older Sibling Around

It can also feel suitable for the new parents; after all, having another set of hands always comes in handy, especially when the newborn is tiny and needs assistance with even routine tasks like going to bed at night or hanging out on the changing table during diaper changes!

 

Finally, studies suggest that children who feel more connected to their younger siblings tend to do better later in life, so being involved from day one is helpful in this regard. Older siblings who handle helping out as part of their responsibility to family are also more likely to develop a better sense of responsibility, which will serve them well as they grow up.

Keep in mind that if this is not something your older child is willing or able to do at the moment, don’t push them! It might be best for any caretaking tasks until the new baby arrives and things settle down. However, once you feel like things are moving along with your older children’s adjustment (and possibly even sooner), have your older child participate in some way – it can only help out in the long run.

Encourage Older Children to Have Their Say

Every parent needs to listen patiently when their children have something on their minds. This goes double during times of transition (like when a new baby is on the way or has just arrived); however, it can be easy to tune out as we tend to focus more on what’s happening with us than what’s going on; in our children’s lives!

Remember that you’re dealing with an older child who might feel like they don’t have a voice. This can make it difficult for your older child to communicate their feelings constructively. Encouraging your older children to have their say and listen patiently when they do so will help them learn skills they’ll use throughout life!

Be Accountable for Your Own Emotions

We all know how hard it is to remain calm when we’re stressed, so it’s no surprise that new parents find themselves struggling with their own emotions during times of transition. It can be challenging to put the needs before our own; however, doing so can positively impact your older children!

Don’t Try and Keep From Sharing These Feelings With Your Kids.

They can handle hearing you say how overwhelmed you feel. Even mentioning that they don’t understand why everyone had to change so much just because they got a new little brother or sister! This way, they’ll get some insight into your situation without feeling like you’re making them responsible for restoring things to normal (something which could cause resentment if not handled). They may even offer up some helpful ideas.Such as taking the newborn for a walk while you take a nap!

By being accountable for your own emotions and staying honest with your older children about what you’re feeling, they’ll hopefully be able to do the same; this will help everyone adjust better in the long run.

Make Every Effort to Keep Things the Same

This is easier said than done whenever your life is turned upside down! However, letting your older child know that life will go on. Just as before (even if it means not getting out of bed or making meals) can help their adjustment. When possible, you must try and maintain a routine so that older kids don’t feel things are slipping out of control. If your newborn is experiencing sleep problems or has trouble with feedings (or both), don’t make the situation worse. Letting this interfere with all the other important things going on in your older child’s life!

Remember that even when it seems impossible to juggle everything, you and your kids can do it together; find a way to work through any challenges without sacrificing what your older children need to feel secure. This will give them the confidence they need as he prepares for something big.

Prepare Your Child for Separation

Are you feeling anxious about how much time you’ll spend away? Or are you worried about leaving an infant alone with a babysitter for the first time? These kinds of concerns can undoubtedly make it hard to focus on what’s happening at home, and they can affect how well your child adjusts to life with a new sibling! The good news is that you can talk about your concerns! Kids need to understand what’s going on in their parents’ lives.

If there are things you’d like your older children to know (such as the fact that you’ll be returning in just a few hours or a day after dropping them off), explain this to them clearly and accurately. Hence, they have realistic expectations for how often they’ll see you while things are changing.

Mother watching with kids

Prepare Yourself for Separation

It’s natural for newborns not to feel confident leaving their babies behind; however, older kids do better when they can sense that Mom and Dad are convinced about everything. So don’t feel guilty for your feelings or hide them from your kids; let them know in a mature way that you’ll be just fine leaving the baby with someone else!

Don’t forget, too, to plan before separation starts becoming a reality. Figure out how you’ll handle things like developing routines (feeding times, visiting the doctor for check-ups and shots), as well as how often you’ll see each other until everyone is comfortable with life’s new routine. Be sure to practice this so it becomes familiar and straightforward once it’s time to separate!

Get Help From an Outside Source

If all of this doesn’t seem overwhelming enough already, there may come the point where you need help from an outside source (like a therapist or support group). This can be especially important if you’re having panic attacks or other severe emotional responses to separation anxiety. And remember, just because you aren’t feeling things as intensely anymore doesn’t mean it’s time to stop getting counseling! Many life events are stressful, and your kids will need all the help they can get coping with change for years to come!

The Day When You’ll Have to Separate From Your Kids Is Coming

It can seem daunting. But the good news is that with a little preparation–and patience on everyone’s part–this milestone will be easier than you think! To prepare for separation, try these tips:

 

  • Talk about what you’re feeling, so your child understands what’s going on in their parent’s life.
  • Make every effort to keep things the same at home (even if this means not getting out of bed or making meals).
  • Plan how often they’ll see each other until everyone gets comfortable with the new routine.
  • Get help from an outside source when needed.

If all goes well, “separation” won’t even feel like a big deal!

 

By Rosa Norris

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