Two Birds with One Program
It is an unfortunate fact that being presented with a new sibling is often devastating for a young child. After all, his socio-emotional world largely consists almost exclusively of mother and father, so introducing a competitor for the attention and affection of his parents constitutes a serious threat.
Furthermore, while an older child may be able to appreciate sentiments such as “love grows the more it is shared” and may be able to perceive the benefits of having a readily available buddy for future endeavors, a younger child does not have the cognitive capacity to do that. All he knows is that attention equals love and he is not getting as much as he did previously.
I routinely recommend two remedies for this situation. First, it is important for a parent to give the older child at least 45 minutes to an hour of undivided attention on a regular basis. This special “just the two of us” time reassures the child in the only language he truly understands that he is loved just as much as before.
Second, it is a good idea to encourage the older child to expand his socio-emotional realm. At this point in development he is prepared to start engaging in meaningful and enjoyable relationships with peers. And those relationships help reduce his need to focus all his efforts for fulfillment in this area on his parents.
And what would be a more effective and efficient way to accomplish both of these goals simultaneously than enrolling yourself and your child in a parent participation class at Romp n’ Roll?
Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.