When my son was 9 months old, we found out that we were expecting. I was really worried having two children under the age of 2. Family and friends reassured me that everything would work out. I was also told numerous amount of times that my two boys would have a special bond and be best friends since they are so close in age.
Now my oldest son is 22 months and my youngest son is 6 months. I’m worried that the bond, just isn’t there.
The baby just adores my oldest son. He always tries to grab him, laughs at everything he does, and smiles at him constantly.
My oldest on the other hand, doesn’t have much to do with his baby brother. He will steal his toys, push him away, and ignore him. If you are sitting with him and bring the baby over, he will get up and walk away. The only time he is truly caring, is when he cuddles up to him in his sleep. Once in a blue moon he will tickle him, give him a toy, or kiss him on the forehead.
I’m afraid that a little jealousy is involved because my oldest was very spoiled for the first year, when he was the only child.
So with all that being said, I sat down and thought of some ways to help the brother bondage progress begin.
First I want my oldest son to know, how cool it is to be a big brother. I want him to understand that his “bubby” looks up to him. I explain this everyday and try to show him how exciting it is to be a big bro. I show excitement every time the baby tries to interact with him. When the baby laughs at him, I empathize that he is making the baby laugh.
I’m trying to encourage them to interact more. My goal is to get my oldest son to show his feelings towards his brother. I want him to hug or even talk to his brother on a daily basis, rather than getting up and walking away.
Next, getting my toddler to stop stealing his brothers toys. Now this is just a kid thing, they all do it but I simply tell him to go give the toy back to his brother. When he doesn’t and runs away, I take him over and explain how that hurts the baby’s feelings. This process is slowly showing results.
My final goal is to get them to play together. I know the baby doesn’t play much, but it would be great if he showed interest when the baby does try to play with him. I don’t want my son to push him away. I try to play with them both at the same time and use both of their toys together.
I do know that kids will be kids and they are both very young. They are learning and focusing on anything and everything around them. My goal is to encourage interacting with one another. They will be brothers for life and my hope is that they will be best friends starting at a young age.
How are you encouraging sibling engagement? Did your children show interest in one another at an early age?