Parenting-How To Tell Your Children That They Are Going To Have A Little Brother Or Sister

With love, patience, and common sense, you can inform your child about their new brother and sister.

You've just found out that you and your spouse are expecting a baby. You are probably filled with many emotions. Even if you were planning this baby, however, the reality of the pregnancy can be a little overwhelming. If you already have other children, you may already be experiencing many doubts.

Can I love this baby as much as my other child or children? Can I handle raising another child? Will my other children resent having a new baby in the family? How can I give all the attention that I need to give my other children once the new arrival is here? These may be just some of the questions that are filling your mind at the moment. Remember, however, that these are perfectly normal doubts, and virtually everyone experiences some or all of them.

Of course, you won't know the complete answers to your questions until after your little one gets here, but you can begin to handle certain issues in the months before he or she arrives. You and your spouse will need to decide at what point you want to tell your other children about their new brother or sister.

If your other children are toddlers, you might want to wait until you are beginning to show signs that you are pregnant. Younger children have more difficulty understanding the concept of time. When you do tell them, however, you need to keep the details simple. Children generally follow the lead of their parents. If you are happy and excited, then they should be, too.

Even if your child is a toddler, you can still involve them in preparations for the new baby. Let them help you decide on decorations for the nursery. You can ask them if they want to hand down any of their baby toys to their new brother or sister. Don't push them to do so, however, if they are reluctant.

If you have elementary school aged children, you probably need to approach the subject of a new baby a little differently. Whether your child is an only child or has other brothers and sisters, her place in the family will change somewhat once the new baby is here. If she is the youngest or the only child, you can emphasize her role as big sister. When you tell your child about the new baby, let her know how proud you are of all that she does.

She may have many questions as to how or why you are having a baby. Again, you need to keep it simple and answer with terms that she can understand and words that are on her age level. While you are probably very excited, you don't want her to think that the arrival of a new baby is more important than the activities she does or is involved in. You can also let her help you pick out nursery supplies and ask for her input on naming the baby. Depending on the age of your child, you might want to let her go with you to your ultrasound appointment and other doctor visits.

Telling your teenager that you are expecting can be an entirely different matter. Many times, the initial response of some teenagers is one of embarrassment. Most teenagers typically worry about what their friends think. They don't even want to imagine that their parents have a physical relationship with each other. They may initially resent the idea of a baby when you first tell them. If you know of others who have teens and babies, you might want to use their relationships as examples. Emphasize to your teen that his role will not be as caretaker, but instead, he will be the person that your baby will come to adore and idolize. Reassure your teen that his life will not drastically change. Most importantly, be patient. If he doesn't immediately react in a positive way, give him some space and time to grow accustomed to the idea. Once you hear him telling his friends about the baby, you are probably over the roughest part. With love, patience, and common sense, you can inform your child about their new brother and sister.

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