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The Hump Between Us

pregnancy test
  • Tell Mate. Check!
  • Tell bestie. Check.
  • Tell parents. (Braces self) Check.
  • Tell monster-in-law. Ugh. Check.
  • Tell children. Shoot me now.

Precisely how do you tell your children there is a (or another) sibling on the way?”

Age appropriate information is the only way.

Toddlers

Toddlers have a grasp of language, knowledge of the word “baby” and curiosity. Waiting until mom begins to show she is pregnant is best. Toddlers do not have the patience to conceptualize a week, much less nine months. If you can wait until toddler asks about the bump, that is even better.

If toddler overhears baby conversation, explain it in terms he understands. Give him his own calendar to mark days until baby arrives. This will help him cope with the waiting.

Engage him in nursery preparation. Here is your perfect chance to set boundaries between what is his and what is baby’s. You are heading jealousy off at the pass and elevating his status from “baby” to “big helper”.

Child 1

Children

Elementary school aged children grasp the concept of the baby inside. Even ones too small to be introduced the all the gory details of reproduction need to understand mom’s fatigue, lack of balance and waffle brain. Explain that “carrying” the baby around causes this.

Explain this is not a replacement child. Her place in the family is secure. Baby will be someone else who will adore her…especially if she has specific duties to help prepare and care for baby.

*Sigh* Tween

The 10-12 year old is complex enough without adding baby to the mix. If he is not already well-informed, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss from whence babies come and the dangers involved.

With the identity malaise of being a tween, he will need a little extra attention to settle on the fact you are not trying again to get it right. Spend extra one-on-one time doing what is important to him. It is essential for maintaining harmony and reinforcing the fact he is great the way he is.

Français : Affiche de la série Teenagers

Let that sink in for a moment. This breed of pseudo-adult is just as moody about pregnancy as she is about everything else. Do not wait to tell your teen. Insert her between the bestie and your parents. It may take her as long as you are pregnant to acclimate to the idea.

Revisit (often) how important she is in the family: Not just as a built-in babysitter, but as a sibling and nearly adult member of the family.

The Big Kids

Dreading telling your adult children you are expecting their younger sibling? Tell your adult child as soon as you find out. This is not the time to create trust issues.

It is, however, the best time to discussing parenting psychology, discussing life goals and real-time teaching of life skills.

It is all good.

Babies are a family event. Share the news. If not thrilled at first, they will love the new baby from the first time they hold it!

~~~~~~~~~~

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2007-2011
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy policy available in The Office. 



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8 Comments

  1. You always break things down into simple terms.

    Reply
  2. bear

     /  December 8, 2011

    As a father of five the idea was to include everyone that mattered some were excited some not so much. The children were generaly happy although the oldest son looked at me when I told him like I had squished a puppy before his very eyes. I follow up with that with after my youngest son was born my oldest hovered over him and took a part in being a great big brother. You do make it easy Red keep up the good work. Bear

    Reply
    • Sounds like your boat is nearly as full as mine. I know you could not break the bonds between some of my children with a mortar. Beats the mess out of sibling rivalry! But that is a topic for another post…Red.

      Reply
  3. Red! How did you get so smart anyway? “A replacement child” is the right term at times, hilarious, but something parents may even wish for one at times. All jesting aside, anyone with a family, especially a larger family– will very much appreciate the dynamics you have identified. Well done!

    Reply
  4. I think that with your Momma title there will be many of these postings Red, but I will certainly be reading whatever you add, and here even if some of my comments are a bit lacking on this subject, I will still add something…

    Even a wittering comment as this one truly is 🙂 lol

    Androgoth XXx

    Reply
    • Aye, but you took the time to stop in and at least skim it 😉 Mayhap, the title led you astray…Alas, I can be a tricky Momma. Red.

      Reply

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