While for many parents, the idea of family attains a sense of completion with the arrival of their firstborn, there are many others who feel that having another child is just what they need to add that perfectly wholesome balance to the family. If you’re one of the latter kind and if your finances as well as family dynamics are healthy, having a second child is definitely on your mind all the time! But, when it comes to a , parents are often worried about how it’ll affect the first child. Will it upset them to no longer be the only one? Will it be difficult to manage two kids? Well, turns out, having a second child works wonders for your older kid’s well-being! Here are six ways how your older kid benefits from having a sibling.
According to a by the American Academy of Paediatrics, kids with younger siblings are less likely to be prone to obesity, compared to only children. The study states an active lifestyle as one of the key factors – siblings are too busy chasing each other, doing crazy little experiments and role playing to be plonking in front of the TV for long hours. And you don’t need science to tell you that physically active children are the healthiest children! This brings us to our second point.
Picture this: you and your partner have had an incredibly long day, at the end of which you just want to relax in front of the television or with a nice book. But, your little one, who’s been waiting all day to play with you won’t take no for an answer. Moreover, you just cannot match up with kids’ energy levels! The result? Your only child has no option but to either play alone or watch television. Being an only child, for most part is a lonesome experience. On the contrary, with a younger sibling in their life, they suddenly have an entire childhood full of shared adventures, fun and hilarious experiences. Your second child will help your firstborn step out of their own little bubble and push their potential a little every day.
Kids who have never had a sibling are notorious for being bad at sharing! This is mostly because all their lives they never had to share their things with anyone. Compare that to kids who have grown up with a sibling – sharing is natural behaviour. Everything gets split into two, everything is shared. You get to teach your firstborn that “enough for two” is much better than “all for me”.
When your firstborn sees you and your partner care for the newly arrived baby, they’re motivated to do the same too. One of the greatest lessons older siblings learn with the arrival of a sibling is to put the needs of others above their own and to love this little angel as much as they love themselves. Be prepared to catch your first child gently caress the baby, sing lullabies and do funny things to make them laugh!
Your older child doesn’t only turn to your younger child for play time, but also to watch over them and care for them. As a parent, you’ll find this to be a great relief, since you no longer have to spend every waking second watching over your kid. You don’t have to time your shower or chores to sync with your kid’s nap time or when someone else is around. Your kids will be too busy with each other! A lot of parents of two kids always say that their older child stopped annoying them when baby #2 arrived, because they were now too busy annoying their sibling!
A second baby brings home an amazing sense of balance for everyone, especially for the first child. While they learn to share, care for and protect their younger sibling, they also gain a new sense of independence. In fact, you may notice this from your pregnancy days itself. If you start teaching them early enough (say, right from when you’re pregnant) that there soon will be another baby who will need extra care and attention because they’re fragile, and that you will need their help in taking care of this baby, they will start to take responsibility, at least for themselves. Your first born will learn to wait for your attention while you’re busy nursing the baby, and as a result will learn the ropes of independence.
If you time the age gap just right (a minimum of three years) between your kids, you’ll get to see magical moments come out of their relationship every single day. The key is to constantly remind your first born that you love both of them equally and teach them the value of caring for their baby brother or sister!
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