Recently the boys received some exciting information about a new addition to our family that will arrive towards the end of the year. Sharing news about a new baby brother was very different this time given both boys are old enough to understand more and their awareness of babies is greater having been introduced to two newborn cousins in the past year. The entire experience was priceless and an amazing family memory that is already making expanding our family more special than I could have ever imagined.
The decision of when to tell your children about a pregnancy and arrival of a new sibling is (like many aspects of parenting) deeply personal. Recommendations generally circle around the notion of waiting until after the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage declines significantly. For us waiting a bit longer, until the 20 week anatomy scan, felt like the best marker taking into consideration the ability to know more about the baby's health and given the ability of a 4 1/2 year old and almost 3 year old to understand the concept of time.
The reactions of both boys were priceless and ranged from questions about where the baby would sit in the car ("Mommy, we need a new seat for him because he has to go everywhere we go!") to an instant desire to organize toys from their collection that could be shared with "baby brother" when he is born. We were met with questions about how he "got into Mommy's stomach" and a desire to know "what he likes to eat." True to their personalities and age, each of the boys processed the news in their own unique way while also looking to one another in excitement for adding more to the mix.
One of the most unexpected rewards in parenting has been observing the connection between siblings and the beautiful relationship that has formed between the boys. Within minutes of learning about their new baby brother they began talking about him as though he has always been part of the clan and their desire to include them in their brotherly bond. Since learning about the baby there have been many hugs and kisses to my growing belly along with a few songs for baby brother as well. The connection and bond that is forming before his arrival is truly exceptional.
As we thought about sharing the news and continue to support the boys' questions we have utilized the following strategies:
The adventures are sure to increase around our house based on the excitement we've seen in the past week. The rewards for our family and joy from baby #3 have already far exceeded any expectations we might have had, making it hard to imagine the kind of thrill his arrival will bring the end of the year.
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families as an educational consultant and parenting coach.
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Based on a work at http://www.strongtots.com