Sibling rivalry. Most of us have lived with it personally, so when a new baby is born, we often feel the disappointment and perceived isolation of the big brother or sister as if it were our own. Even youngest children often have vivid memories of seeing older siblings get things, or be allowed to do things, that they weren’t… and the activation of your little kid’s sense of justice that the unfairness of it all created! Some parents are bitterly divided about whether sibling gifts should be bought for older kids when a new baby (and all those new baby toys!) come along – today we check out the view from both sides of the fence.
Sibling gifts as markers of change
Change is difficult for all humans to deal with… especially toddlers and primary-aged children who are very fond of stability. Mua giày patin trẻ em However, if you can use the sibling gift that comes along with a new baby toy as a marker of something positive within that change, you’ll be doing a great service to both the parents and the older child.
Make sure you buy a new baby toy that is very simple, and not likely to hold the older child’s interest… so don’t buy something that must be ‘grown into’! Then choose one of the sibling gifts below that is designed to help get an older child excited about their new role:
• Books that explore how older siblings act
• Gifts that mark the older child as more of ‘one of the grown-ups’; Mum/Dad-and-Child apron sets, baby dolls and prams, cooking toys etc are all good ideas
• Big sister’ or ‘Big Brother’ tshirts
If this careful gift choice is supported with an attitude that the older child’s help is needed, and that they baby’s happiness is also their responsibility, the end of the sibling rivalry battle will come much sooner!
‘Things’ are important to kids
As we grow older, we begin to realise that life is much more than possessions. We also tend to forget that when we were kids, we really defined ourselves by our possessions. When the new child is getting all sorts of baby toys and the older child isn’t, it can really make them feel unloved and un-cared for.
Kids want something to nurture
Art imitates life… and children imitate their elders. Older children are often aching to look after something that’s helpless as well, and be just like their parents. If your kids aren’t interested in dolls, other items can be bought that need care as well – trucks can be washed and ‘oiled’, for example.
Toys can be a great distraction
Mum and Dad will be very busy taking care of the new baby in the early days, and providing new toys other than baby toys for the older child can buy some blissful hours of peace!
Don’t buy matching gifts
Yes, baby toys and sibling toys, or little tshirts that match are very cute. But they will make the older sibling recoil in horror! They want to maintain their independence and special place in the family – most aren’t ready to be lumped in with the baby yet.
Older kids still need love, attention and responsibility
No number of toys and gifts will make up for a lack of love and attention – so make sure that sibling gifts aren’t used to ‘buy’ time or to make up for distance or anger.
They’ll need to learn eventually
It simply isn’t possible (or desirable) to buy the same thing at the same time for each of your children throughout their lives. They will need to get used to the differences between them sooner or later; and some parents say that this may as well start right away.