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white

Member
Hi, I have son whose age is 7.5 years and now we are expecting another child in another 4 months. It is evident that the gap between these two childreen is big.
How does this affect on both these childreen ? Would they carry more affectiion between them due to the gap or what?
If not, being parents what should we do to make that happen ?

Any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated ?
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
First, there is of course no guranatee that siblings will be close no matter what their ages or age gaps. With an almost 8 year difference, it can sometimes create a strong bon because the older child can see the younger as a sort of nephew/niece who looks up to him...

The key, I think, is to make sure that the new arrival does not impact negatively on the amount of time and energy you have to devote to the older child -- making sure that both of them get individual attention and alone time with a parent is essential, in addition to family times for all four of you. In other words, what you want to aim for is to help the older child see the little one as a happy addition to the family that enhances all your lives, instead of someone who takes things away from him. It's obviously a tricky balance to obtain sometimes but it's important to get as close to that goal as possible.

Also, don't be dismayed, alramed, upset, or angry if the older child expresses some negative feelings about this new arrival -- that is normal and it's important that you let him know you understand why he feels that way at times but that there are some positive things about having a liuttle brother or sister as well.
 

ThatLady

Member
I think it's very helpful to get the older child involved with the care of the new family addition. Let them help to feed, with supervision, and be a part of what's going on. If they feel involved and important it reduces the likelihood that they'll be resentful of the baby. The older child may act out from time to time, but if they're involved in care it should happen less often. :eek:)
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I would put it slightly differently, ThatLady:

Invite the child to become involved with the care of the new baby.

If he resists, don't force the issue. But do continue to invite him into the activities including helping out. If he can see it as fun rather than another thing on his list of chores or tasks to do, it will help. If not, at least he will know you would prefer to include him and that you have no desire to exclude him.
 

ThatLady

Member
Oh, absolutely! To force an unwilling child to become involved would only make things worse.

In my experience, however, children who are kept "in the loop" during the pregnancy and the delivery, are thrilled to be able to help care for the new arrival and so very proud of what they're able to give to the newborn, and to the family unit. I suppose there could be those out there who would react differently. Thankfully, I've never seen one. :eek:)
 

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