Once you have discovered the joy of parenting, you may long to have more children. The path to being parents for the second or third time is not always so straightforward for all couples, though. If adoption is in your future, go with a licensed adoption agency who can help guide this process. One important step along the way is to prepare your kids when the adoption of a new sibling is imminent. Follow these tips to make sure that your children are as ready for their new sibling as you are for your new bundle of joy.
Include Your Kids in the Baby Shower
Friends and family members will likely want to celebrate the new little one in your life by throwing a baby shower. That is a great idea and can be a fun way to celebrate this immense joy with those you love. However, it can inspire envy in your children who see all the attention that the new sibling is already getting before the arrival.
Avoid the tension in this scenario by letting the organizers of the shower know that it's important to include your children in the party. Games for siblings should be a part of the festivities. People should talk about all the fun of siblings. Also, buy presents for your older kids. Then request that anyone who is bringing a baby gift also hand your other children the pre-wrapped presents that you bought.
Identify Your Child's Feelings
When your child may be frustrated at some point during the adoption process, they may not be always able to express it easily by themselves. Help them identify their feelings and put words to them by asking open-ended questions and responding with compassion when they answer them. Some identifying statements and open-ended questions you may consider are the following:
- You are clearly frustrated. What happened when you started feeling this way?
- A new sibling will be there to share each day with you. What worries you about that?
- You are going to be a great older sibling. What are the good and bad things about having a sibling?
- Can you tell me the last thing that made you angry about the adoption?
Finally, keep in mind that your kids' feelings about a new sibling may be fluid. One day they may be so excited about having another kid around the house, but they may get jealous of the attention that won't be solely theirs at other times. Talk out the bad feelings and reassure your child of your love for them. That should help the adjustment period go smoothly for all your children.