• 17 APR 16
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    Signs of a child having trouble with his new sibling

    Signs of a child having trouble with his new sibling

    Sibling rivalry- Sibling rivalry means the antagonism or hostility between brothers and/ or sisters, which ranges from the everyday fights between children in the family.
    Before the birth of the second child, the first child has been the center of all attention and affection, and has been fussed over exclusively. Once the second child is born, this attention is divided between the two. The first one may get even less than half the attention as the newborn is so delicate and vulnerable. This is where the competition begins.
    Sibling rivalry can be characterized by negative feelings, overt hostility, malicious behavior, violence, undermining, reluctance to share and lack of positive regard for each other. Sometimes children come up with scheming ways to make their siblings look bad, although they are the perpetrators.

    The common signs of a child having trouble with his new sibling are—
    1- There may be sudden complaints from the school teacher that this previously perfectly behaved child is acting up, disrupting class and troubling other children.

    2- The older one thinks that the parents and everybody likes his new sibling more. Due to insecurity and anxiety, the older one often starts regressing in his behavior. Children who had gained bladder control start bed-wetting again. Children who had never sucked their thumbs start doing so. Children whose language was perfectly developed for their age suddenly start baby talking (often in imitation of the younger sibling).

    3- The child starts defying his parents, opposing everything that he is told. When goes too far , it is called op-positional defiance disorder. The child some time starts using bad language, throws tantrums and even become disruptive, breaking and flinging things.
    4- There could be disturbances in sleep and appetite. The child may want the mother to feed him when she is feeding the baby or he may want to sleep next to the mother. His sleep may be disturbed and he may get up crying.
    5- The child may cry about going to school and may start clinging to the mother.
    Preparing the first child for a new baby—
    The process of adjusting to a new sibling need not be painful for either the child or the parents if the child is adequately prepared to receive the newcomer.
    1-The child must be prepared as early during pregnancy as possible for the new baby that will soon be a part of the family.
    2- The child will have to be informed that his mother will have to give the baby time, but that he will surely have his own exclusive time with his mother too, when they will share fun that the baby cannot be a part of.
    3- The child will have to be involved by being told that any help he can give in taking care of the baby will be important. He will have new responsibilities and these will change as he grows.

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