Overcoming the dethroned prince syndrome
The arrival of a new baby can be a difficult experience for an older sibling. Suddenly, a tiny creature arrives at home and takes up much of the time that mum and dad used to devote to him or her. This is the dethroned prince syndrome, that is, the appearance of jealousy towards the younger brother or sister.
Below, we offer you five tips to make this situation more bearable, always assuming that, beforehand, that is, during pregnancy, we have prepared the child for the arrival of his or her little brother or sister.
You can do it, of course you can. Even if tiredness has become your most faithful companion, you surely know how to find the extra patience your little ones need. In those moments when you feel you can’t take it anymore, try to put yourself in their shoes, think about how you would feel if you were them and breathe. Count to three, ten or even 100. Ask for help if you feel that the glass is about to overflow so that you can face the situation calmly. This does not mean that you allow your child to do whatever he or she wants, but that you talk to him or her more, hug him or her more and try to solve any problems without arguing.
Give it time
As with any change, everyone needs time to get used to a new situation, and children even more so. Let them gradually get used to the new routines. As time goes by, they will internalise them and will not feel rejected.
Don’t force him to love the baby
Telling the older sibling over and over again how much he or she should love the younger sibling is totally counterproductive. You can’t force someone to love another person just because they are siblings. It is normal that, in time, they will grow to love and share, but that is something that will emerge spontaneously.
As parents, all we can do is to talk to them about their feelings, let them express themselves freely without judgement and help them identify what they are feeling.
Involve him/her in the care of the baby
Children love to feel useful and do “grown-up things“, so encourage your little one to help look after the baby, it will boost their self-confidence while you share pleasant moments.
Ask them to help you change nappies, prepare the bath or dress them. He can also play with your little one while you are cooking, for example, swinging him if he is very small while he is in the bouncer or walking him around the house if he is older.
That’s what our wheels are perfect for. They are totally safe and you won’t have to worry about the bouncer tipping over. And when you want them to play close to you, all you have to do is apply the brakes and the bouncer will be immobilised.
Spend exclusive time with your child
Spending time alone with the older sibling will make them feel special and strengthen your trusting relationship. It’s a little tricky at first because newborns don’t understand schedules and so it will be up to dad or another caregiver to play this role, but as your baby gets older, look for activities to do specifically with the older sibling.