Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

First of all, thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post! It was a very special day for Chris and our family!

Sibling Rivalry.

I think anyone who is delving into the world of two kids worries about this. I certainly did. Brayden is a really sweet boy and generally pretty laid back. He listens well, he is gentle (most of the time) and he is loving. BUT, when you throw a little baby into the mix who NEEDS a lot of attention, you never know what is going to happen!

Thankfully, Brayden really loves Brody.

He tries to play with him. He will ask him "Brody play golf?" and offer him a golf club, or "Brody wanna cracker?" and offer him some graham crackers.

And he loves to give him kisses and hugs. He even asks to hold him, but Brody is pretty heavy, so he doesn't really like to! Ha!
The only "jealousy" type issue we've had is when we first brought Brody home. I had a very rough c-section and ended up being completely knocked out. I also ended up with internal and external staples as well as dissolvable strips. I wasn't allowed to lift Brayden for 6 weeks! Being as he wasn't even 2 yet, he really didn't understand why I couldn't pick him up. That was the hardest thing! How do you explain that to a baby? He would see me hold Brody and he just didn't understand why I couldn't hold him. After the first couple of weeks, Chris would set him in my lap but by that point I think he was pretty mad at me for not picking him up. Now, of course, everything is perfectly fine. He knows that I love him and that I love to hold him just as much as I love to hold Brody.

I say all of that because that is such a common question and certainly one I asked my friends who've got 2+ kids. There are so many "taboo" subjects when it comes to parenting and things that people don't talk about, but that's just not my style! I enjoy sharing our experiences and hopefully the things I share are helpful!

Here are a few things I've learned that I think helped:

- Let your older child feel involved. Ask them to get you a diaper or to hand you a paci.

- Praise them when they help! If you were a fly on my wall, you might think I was crazy because of how much I praise Brayden when he helps us do something with Brody. But that praise instills confidence in him and makes him WANT to help!

- Make sure to give both kids individual attention. This has been the hardest because Brody has been so miserable with his reflux. But when Chris gets home, sometimes I will take Brayden into another room to play with just him or vice versa. If he wakes up from his nap before Brody, I'll go in his room and we will play there, just the two of us until Brody wakes up. It's made a big difference!

- Let them play. OK, this was hard too. Brody was 6.13oz when he was born and I was terrified that Brayden would hurt him. Babies are durable though, and with proper supervision everything will be fine, and it helps cut that animosity.

Anyway, I know it sounds funny to say that I get emailed about this kind of thing a lot, but I do. I am NOT an expert, just a mom who doesn't mind sharing what has worked for us! I hope it will help you future moms of 2 out there!
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