This week marks a new beginning for ParentTalk, as we segue into a series of episodes on sibling rivalry. As siblings are typically the longest relationships we have in our lives, tensions that begin in childhood can become lifelong if unmanaged or unchecked, straining and challenging family bonds. The discussion at the heart of this episode is, how can we address problems between siblings before they start? Team ParentTalk discusses how to prepare your child for a new baby during a pregnancy, giving space for ambivalence or negative feelings, and helpful hints for those first few days when the new baby is finally brought home.

“One of the toughest things for parents to wrap their brains around is that feelings of anxiety or uncertainty about a new baby are inevitable. That’s why it’s so important to think about how you’re going to prepare your child for this new baby, even before it comes. It gives the parents the chance to tell their child that it is okay to have mixed feelings about this. Most parents want their children to love this baby and be so excited. They don’t allow any space for negative feelings to come out. If you don’t give an outlet for the negative feelings, where are the loving feelings going to grow? There won’t be any space left for them.”

– Susan Glaser

Episode Highlights:

– Telling your child when you are expecting a new baby.

– How and when to discuss pregnancies with young children.

– A baby is not growing in mommy’s belly! The dangers of of euphemisms when explaining pregnancies.

– Giving space for your child to have negative emotions about a new baby, and talking about them.

– Toxic thoughts only become toxic when they go unexpressed.

– Hints for handling the first few days after the new baby leaves the hospital.