There are lots of funny stories about toddlers accepting or rejecting a new sibling. Thus far the stories I have heard fall into 1 of 2 categories:
1. That’s a neat new toy. Let’s throw it out now.
2. That’s a neat new toy. Let’s take good care of it.
Several articles suggest ways to prepare your toddler for the addition of a new sibling, but even with such planning your toddler may not be able to cope with the change.
Knowing that genetically my son could go the way of the butter-knife assassin, my wife and I tried the following strategies to prepare him for his sister’s arrival:
- Created a social story showing him that he would soon have a sister and that mom and dad would still love him as well his new sister.
- Talked about the arrival of his sister every day leading up to her birth and about how great it was going to be to be a big brother.
- Gave our son a present when we came home with his sister and also had him give his sister a present.
Additional strategies we use to try to keep the butter-knife out of our son’s hands include:
- Give him a lot of attention.
- Get him to help us with tasks related to his sister.
- Tell him daily that his sister loves him and that we all love each other.
- Have him kiss his sister good morning and goodnight.
- Remind him to be gentle with his sister.
I’m very proud of our little guy and I hope he continues to be a great big brother. What strategies have worked for you?