There’s been so many lessons that I’ve learned so far as we prepare to bring another child into our family. All along, I’ve always wanted Seth and Spencer to never feel as though they are being neglected. My goal is to include them as much as possible, knowing that they have a vested interest in the future of our family.
- Communicate– We are definitely striving to keep the lines of communication open and giving them the freedom to express themselves. I’ll admit, my younger son is much more inquisitive than his older brother… Spencer has a very tender heart and questions me almost daily. His questions range from, “What will she look like?” (yes, we’re hoping to add a little girl to the mix) “What if she doesn’t like me?” I’ve let him know that he can ask whatever he wants and I’ll do my best to answer.
- Include/Empower Your Children– For our family, one of the changes we’ve made has been securing a larger home to accommodate a third child. With this move, we made the conscious decision to include the boys in choosing our new home. In fact, I took Seth by himself to our new home and let him pick which bedroom he wanted. Just that small gesture gave him a sense of inclusion and made him happy!
- Empathize- It’s important to recognize just how much your bio children’s lives are going to change. As the parents, we’ve spent many hours in training preparing for the new child; however, the children are not afforded that opportunity. I’ve found it very helpful to express to my children that I recognize the changes that will come, but also I’ve pointed out the many positive things that will come out of us opening our home. I’ve already seen glimpses of the compassion and protective nature of both of my sons towards their sibling that they haven’t even met yet….
- Pray– Make a point to allow your child/children to begin praying for their new sibling(s) and encourage them to pray for themselves as they go through this journey with you.
- Establish/Continue One-on-One Time– Last year I began incorporating one-on-one time w/my boys. I began to realize how quickly they grow up and I especially cringed at the amount of time I have left w/my oldest son being at home. Now it seems it’s even more critical for me to carve out time to spend indepently with them.
I would love to hear from you what ideas/suggestions you may have as well. Please comment and share!