Complaints Of A Firstborn

Does your first child feel ignored after the arrival of your second?

It is said that children under the age of three have a memory like that of a goldfish! Well, not me. I remember everything vividly as if it were only yesterday, I am my parents first born and the special one. Everything I did was either cute or funny. They clicked pictures of my every move, expressions, and also reactions. Every thing that remotely looked like a toy in the house belonged to me and I could get my parents to do things for me by merely pointing at them or throwing silly tantrums. But all that changed when my brother was born, I had lost my throne to that little rascal. Now, every snap had an additional person featuring in it, I had to share my toys and had to be that mini adult who set an example for the younger one (although I was still a child at all times!). I remember, when he was born people who we didn’t know existed showed up with gifts for him (only him!) and boy, that made me miserable. Even before I knew it I had begun to detest (because kids don’t use the word hate) him.

All of this may or might not sound familiar to you but this is exactly what your first born goes through when your second one arrives. So, you may be wondering how one could improve this situation.

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The thing about children is that they seek constant attention and the moment you take that away from them you put them in the “less loved” category. That could further manifest into a whole bunch of ill feelings in the child’s mind which you may not want to deal with (mainly because you now have two of them!)

1. Prepare them mentally

Just like how you prepare yourself at the time of your pregnancy, it’s imperative you start mentally preparing your first one too. You may have to point at your pregnant belly and tell him/her that they must expect some company in a few months. That he/she might experience slight changes with another baby who is on his way.

2.Pick your words

So while you are prepping him you may want to pay attention to the things you are telling him about your unborn baby. For instance, you could tell him/her that the new baby is coming exclusively for him/her to play with and that the new baby is not any more special than what he/she already is.

3.Don’t skip the routine

I’m sure there are a bunch of things that you and your child do on a regular basis. They could be small things like going to the park, or reading him/her a bedtime story or even combing her hair. Ensure that you continue doing them even after the second one has popped out, and whenever you are pressed for time see to it that someone still does it for him/her. That way he won’t feel abandoned.

4.Equal attention

Well, this might be a little hard but parents tend to neglect the first kid as soon as the second one enters. It may not be deliberate but yes a little baby needs more attention than a toddler. So, when he/she is around try to give him his rightful importance; talk to him, ask him about his day at school etc.

5.Mind that tone

Yes, it’s tough juggling a newborn and a toddler and it’s tougher if you don’t have support. Sometimes, your toddler could get cranky, throw tantrums and really get under your skin and you may want to scream your lungs out at him/her. But what you can do instead is, take a deep breath, calm down and watch your tone as these petty instances can brew hatred in those young minds.

6.Politely educate your visitors

I saw one of our friends do this to us. Each time we went over to visit their little ones, it’s by default that we would be drawn to the youngest and the older one would feel slightly dejected so they would politely (and sometimes do it in sign language) ask us to first engage him in conversation before we cuddled the new baby. That works like a charm.

7.Reassurance is key

An elder kid almost always wants to hear that he/she is slightly special than the new kid because duh, he came first! So make sure you are repeatedly boosting his/her ego but on the other hand see to it that they aren’t gloating about it. Because that’s where the stories about picking the younger kid from a dustbin arise!

It’s not entirely true when parents tell you that they love both you and your siblings equally, because the first one is and always will remain special.

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