How to Prepare for a Sibling?
I was only twenty years old when the most wonderful and beautiful
surprise of my life arrived with the birth of my daughter. For nearly a
decade, our universe consisted of us two girls and our adventures as a
quirky little family unit. Because I grew up with a very close
relationship to my own little brother, I'd desperately wanted to give A.
a sibling she could have the opportunity to develop a similar
relationship. However, lack of stability and life circumstances dictated
that the opportunity was not to arise for many, many years. Now,
happily married and financially stable, I finally feel as if I'm in the
position to grow our crazy quirky little family, and Thomas and I have
plans to start working on that project later in the year.
only one problem. My daughter, who has lived comfortably as the only
child for many years and is now a teenager, has absolutely no desire to
have a sibling. In fact, she's really not a fan of the idea of there
being a baby in the family at all.
The reason why I'm bringing
this up in a public post is to solicit feedback from my readers. I would
love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how I can help prepare A. for
the arrival of a young sibling to the family, things I can do to ensure
she feels included and well-loved, and ways I can help her prepare for
the sensory onslaught that will likely accompany a young child -- loud
wailing cries, smelly diapers, sticky wet hands, etc. Ideally, I would
love to help A. learn to bond with the child, to find ways she can get
beyond the sensory issues and annoyances and grow to love her new little
baby brother or sister. However, considering that these same sorts of
issues have made it impossible for A. to form a good relationship with
our dog (A. finds Pippin highly annoying and smelly and basically avoids
him) I'm honesty just hoping I can make the transition a smooth one,
and that I can make sure A. feels loved and included in the entire
process of adapting to an addition to the family.
Here are some things I'm already planning on doing:
- Spending a lot of time talking about things ahead of time, preparing A. for the changes.
- Assuring A. that she will still have her own space and her own stuff that she can keep separate and away from her new sibling.
special "A. Dates" where A. and I and Thomas and A. will go do
something together each week that does NOT involve the sibling.
- Making special "Family Dates" where all four of us spend time together.
sure A. knows that I understand her sensory reactions to a new baby,
and giving her permission to withdrawal from situations that make her
I welcome other thoughts and feedback, as I
definitely feel as if I'm batting a little out of my league, here. I
know we've got at least a year before anything significantly changes for
A., but I want to do everything I can to make this situation as easy as
possible on A., and I figure there's no time like the present to begin
and prepare. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and ideas!