There was one night before Little Dude was born that I got all emotional and asked The Hubster if I was ruining Princess Peach’s life by having another baby so close to her in age. I know that I was just hormonal, tired and hot from the heat but what I was really worried about was sibling rivalry. I know I wasn’t going to ruin her life in theory by giving her a sibling but I wanted to ease all the craziness for her as we became a family of 4. I didn’t want Princess Peach to ever feel any dislike for her brother (EVER) and wanted to foster a positive and loving relationship between the two of them.
I’m very happy to report that almost 7 months into it and they have the best relationship. Better than what I could have ever asked for. There are days that I could just break down and cry at how much they love each other. I do get quite emotional watching them interact at times. As a parent this is the greatest gift. They laugh at each other, they are starting to “play” with each other and Princess Peach is the best helper when it comes to her brother.
I’m really not sure how I got so lucky. Princess Peach really is her brother’s keeper. If someone says hello to her, she insists that they say hello to him. If someone buys her a gift, she wants to know if he gets one too. If he’s crying in his bucket, she brings him her beloved monkey lovey to hold. If we are dancing at music class she wants to hold his hand to dance with him. If she gets a treat she wants to know when he can have a treat too. If he’s on his tummy trying to crawl, she’s down on her fours encouraging him. I could go on and on!
So what did I do to foster this amazing relationship? I did a few things. Do I think one was better than the next? No, but I think all together they encourage Princess Peach to be a great sibling!
- Before Little Dude was born, we took a trip to the toy store. Princess Peach was able to pick out any toy she wanted for the baby to give to him on their first meeting. She picked a Lamaze Robot which he still plays with! We also picked out and wrapped a toy for her to get from Little Dude.
- Right from birth, Princess Peach was able to hold, touch, and kiss her brother. When she asked to hold him I let her. She always has to be seated on a couch or on the bed but I never want her to feel that her brother is breakable and untouchable.
- We encourage Princess Peach to be involved. Choose his clothes, choose a book for him to read, get a wipe and help with a diaper change. Now that he’s eating foods she loves feeding him and he loves it too! Yes, he usually ends up with carrot puree in his nose but he’s eating and she’s happy so it’ll all good!
- When Princess Peach does help we are sure to acknowledge what a great helper/sister/daughter she is! She has also received Mitzvah Notes at school commending her on being a great sister to Little Dude or sharing her toy with him.
- As a newborn, I made it clear to Little Dude that I needed to spend time alone with Princess Peach. Even though he was asleep I said aloud to him “now it’s time for me to spend time with your sister”. That way she would hear it and know it’s special mommy/Princess Peach time. Now that he’s older I try to make special time for both of them to spend time with me alone. Sunday morning swim lessons for Little Dude and The Hubster provides a perfect time for Princess Peach and I to bond and hang out together.
I can only hope that this is 7 months in to the greatest friendship that the two of them will ever have. As time goes on and they grow older my wish for them is that they stay as close as they are today.
What have you done to encourage your older child to be a great brother/sister to their younger sibling?