When I was found out I was pregnant with baby number two, one thing immediately came to mind — Sophia. I worried how she would adjust to the new baby. I worried that she would feel left out. I worried that I wouldn’t love the new baby as much as I loved Sophia. Basically, I worried. And worried some more. Fortunately, now that we are in year three with two kiddos, I now know that my fears were unwarranted as my heart simply grew and I couldn’t love any two little humans any more.
Another thing I worried about (can you tell I tend to worry a lot?) was how their relationship would unfold. I imagined two angry teenage girls who hated each other and took sibling rivalry to a whole new level. I was scared of that. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few things along the way that I feel have helped develop their relationship.
Nurture Individual Relationships
YOUR relationship with each individual child is a HUGE factor in how your kids get along. So, focusing on developing and nurturing your unique relationship with each child will in turn increase the likelihood that they can develop a strong bond together. Making each child feel like they are your “favorite” will decrease the need to feel like they need to compete for your attention. This one is pretty easy — you get double the hugs and love, too! 🙂
This one can be hard because I can find myself so easily comparing one to the other. Sophia didn’t do that at that age, or, Saidey is more laid back than Sophia. You get the idea. It’s also hard because Saidey follows Sophia around everywhere and has taken up the interests of her big sister, too. Sophia is in a Shopkins frenzy phase? So is Saidey. If Sophia wants a BLUE cup, well, darn it, so does Saidey. The one thing I can tell you is to just go with the flow with this one. But I’ve tried really hard to not make comments that may be interpreted as comparison to their little ears. I’ve also really allowed them to develop their own interests, if possible, even though it might be easier if they both wanted to play the same thing. My kiddos share a room, so sometimes encouraging individuality is a little harder for us. Each kiddo has her own space and her own special toys that she gets to decide whether she shares or not. Of course, we encourage sharing, but if they choose not to share their toys — fine. Now, for toys in the toy room — fair game.
Let Them Work It Out
(Within reason, of course!) As long as it’s not getting physical, I’ve realized that by NOT breaking in between arguments has resolved a lot of problems. And guess what? They usually figure it out RIGHT before I’m about to step in. This makes it so much easier for you because you aren’t deciding the solution, making YOU the bad guy. It also eliminates the accusation that the solution you provided wasn’t fair for one kiddo compared to the other.
So, although I was scared out of my mind about how my kids would get along, I will tell you that adding another kiddo has only strengthened and added to our family. And most of the time, they absolutely adore and love up on each other and make this mama’s heart burst with love.