Three Year Old Adjusting To A New Sibling
Kaylee posted a message on Inspired Parenting Tips Facebook Page asking about her three year old son. She co-parents with his father who recently has had a new baby with his girlfriend.
Kaylee has noticed her son's behavior has changed since the birth, and he is wanting to be babied, is playing up at school and being disruptive. Normally a bright and polite little boy, she is wondering if he is feeling
displaced since the arrival of the baby, and wants some ideas for helping him adjust.
Parent Coach Annie Desantis Replies:
Kaylee, it sounds like you have an excellent relationship with your ex and your co-parenting is working really well. Fantastic if you can do things all together as a big family, the more you all share in the parenting the better, and the more Kaden will realize he is not being replaced, and that he is loved just as much as before the little one came along.
It is perfectly normal for an older sibling to have an adjustment period when a new baby arrives, and of course there is always such a fuss made of the new baby.
You mentioned he is wanting to be babied, and you have been emphasizing him being the BIG boy. In addition to that I would go along with his need to be babied, it won't last for long, and you can make a kind of game out of it. The more you try to push him to being the big kid, and get annoyed with him being babyish, the more he will feel his feelings are not OK. When we are validated right where we are, then we can move on a lot quicker.
A new baby changes the dynamic in a family, and he may well be feeling he is not the special one any more. It will just take time for him to adjust and realize he has gained another little person to love him, and that everyone still loves him heaps. He has probably been the star of the show for quite some time, so will very likely be feeling a bit sidelined.
Having lots of fun times - both as a large extended family, but also making sure he still gets special attention for himself is great. It would also be good if his father could have some special time with just him, so he has some extra attention just one on one. Of course you can't dictate how they spend their time with Kaden, but clearly you have a great relationship and they will likely be open to ideas. All children in families need one on one, and specially at times when there is an adjustment to make, or more stress in the family, our kids need a bit extra.
Part Two Follows . . .