This is the last sneak peak at what’s inside my new book, Ending Sibling Rivalry: Moving Your Kids From War to Peace, which is available now, with permission of Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
A child can become a sibling in several ways—through the birth of a brother or sister, through the adoption of a baby or older child, or through the remarriage of a parent to a spouse with children. However that sibling comes along, the child’s world changes dramatically. Sometimes, the transition is accompanied by resentment and misbehavior by the former singleton, but parents can ease the transition from an only to a sibling.
In our home, we welcomed our second child when our firstborn was twenty-two months old. Naomi, the older daughter, adjusted fairly well to her new little sister, Leah—or so we thought until the day Naomi announced very loudly that I needed to “put Leah down, just put her down,” accompanied by vehement hand motions. That clued us in that Naomi wasn’t taking the addition of a sibling as well as we had initially hoped.
However, that rather rocky beginning hasn’t meant an escalation of hostilities between the pair. Rather, as we showed Naomi how to interact with her sister—and as Leah grew older and more able to play with her older sister—the two of them have become good friends as well as sisters, despite occasional squabbles.
Remember, children are resilient beings, capable of readjusting expectations to new circumstances fairly easily. With guidance, parents can use that ability to swing the older children into acceptance and love for their new siblings.
Read more about how to help an older child learn to accept and love a new sibling in Ending Sibling Rivalry: Moving Your Kids From War to Peace, available now on Amazon.com, CBD.com and Beacon Hill Press.