Ever since our second baby was born (about 10 weeks ago) we’ve been experiencing a little behavioral trouble from our son, who is now 3 1/2. I went in thinking I’d know what to do. He is my kid after all. I should know what he needs, right? Um, wrong. I’m a little lost. I’m using my best judgement, but I think I need a little backup. In researching child development and parenting books, I came across a mention of Anna Wahlgren, and I’ve been given the chance to read her books and pass my review on to you. To be clear, I have not read them yet and I’m not being compensated for writing about them here – I’m just really hoping they might help me sort out some parenting struggles, and that I can pass on what I learn. Here’s hoping!
Here’s a little preview Anna provided to get us all started. From this snippet, I get the feeling that her advice is in keeping with our gentle parenting goals. I’m looking forward to reading more!
Advice on Introducing a Sibling
A sister or brother is a life’s asset comparable to nothing. Someone of your own generation is there who shares your background, biological origin and basic experiences in life.
No love is as strong and lifelong as the love between two siblings who are close to each other. As a parent your main task is to prepare your child in the very best way for a life without you. One of the best ways to do that is to give your child a sibling.
- Make it clear to the older siblings that “we belong together” and “we need each other.” We all count on each other and we wouldn’t manage as well without each other.
- The more clearly and reliably the belonging is confirmed among family members, the more strong and intense they will experience their togetherness, and the more positive their community will be.
- During your pregnancy, when your child asks you questions about the baby and its arrival, answer the questions but don’t expound on things the child doesn’t seem curious about. Your goal is to provide guidance.
- When you are introducing the baby to its older siblings, do so in a quiet environment. This is a sacred moment and nothing should disturb it. This is the time for the child to touch and examine the new baby and become familiar with the baby.
- If you have recently had your second child, you might not always be able to call on another adult to help you with your first. Necessity is the mother of invention, and inventiveness (along with a certain knack for bribery) is a quality that you will definitely need. Sometimes the older child will have to wait, and sometimes the baby will. You will learn to tend to the baby’s needs and the needs of your older child simultaneously. Your arms will extend, and you will grow an eye in the back of your head.
It is important to try to rise above the chaos, stand by your older child and maintain your bond. It should be emphasized that the whole flock should be looking after the new arrival.
About the Author
Anna Wahlgren is a renowned Swedish author and journalist. She is the mother of nine children and grandmother to sixteen. Hundreds of thousands of parents have relied on her books, For The Love of Children and A Good Night’s Sleep. They are among Europe’s best read guides to raising children. Her books are available online at www.amazon.com.
LOCATED IN NYC?
Anna Wahlgren will be at the IKEA in Brooklyn on April 20th at noon and at the Brooklyn Library on April 24th from 10:30-noon. Stop in and meet her! If you do, please tell her I said “Hi!”
Have you read any of Anna’s books? Do you ever read parenting books, or do you just follow your instincts?