Bringing home a new baby is always a joyous event in Rabbi Shmuley's large family. He says his children welcome their new sibling and want to buy their mother and the baby presents. Rabbi Shmuley says that isn't the case with every family, though—some children respond negatively to a new baby. Rabbi Shmuley talks about what you can do to eliminate jealously from siblings and balance a new baby with the rest of your life.
Rabbi Shmuley says he doesn't subscribe to the belief that kids are naturally jealous and that you have to take great precautions when you bring a new baby home. "In families were this reaction does exist, it's usually because the parents have made child the center of their attention to such an extent that the child cannot cope with any diminished attention," he says. Here's some tips to help make the arrival of a new sibling a joyous event:
Involve your children in the pregnancy. "Keep your child updated and talk to your child about the process so that they can get excited about the baby's arrival," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Don't make the new baby off-limits. "Once the baby is born, give your child access to the baby," he says. "Allow your child to hold the baby with your help."
Give your child a sense of responsibility. Let them feel like an older brother or sister when the baby comes home. Invite him into the baby's room and allow him to feel a part of the new baby's life, Rabbi Shmuley says.
Be aware of changes in behavior. "If you notice a change of behavior in your child, talk to him about it. Make sure that he doesn't feel left out," Rabbi Shmuley says.