Their world has already changed quite a bit, so more change can just add to the scariness.
The idea of having a baby in a blended family may make them jealous of all the excitement and attention the baby will get, taking it away from them.
Notice how your children act when you talk about the new baby. Are they passive or angry? Talk to them about their feelings and try to help alleviate any fears they may have.
Give everyone a task on the baby’s birthday
When the baby is born, it will be exciting but also worrisome. This is when the family is about to change.
Giving each person in the family a “birthday” job will help direct everyone’s energies and help the whole family to focus on togetherness.
Two kids could share picture taking duties after the baby is born, another child can massage mom’s feet, one can be in charge of carrying needed supplies to the room, another child could pick out and deliver flowers to the room.
Set it all up beforehand, so everyone has something to look forward to on the big day.
Find ways to bond as a new family unit
At times the stepfamily may feel fragmented, especially if his children are going to their mom’s for a while, and then if her children are headed to their dad’s for the holidays.
Sometimes all the children—except the new baby in stepfamily—may be away. It may feel hard to feel bonded with everyone at the same time.
But being a complete unit and connecting together is vital to the success of your family.
Stay connected even when apart; create family traditions perhaps outside of regular holiday times; have dinner together when possible; find things you all like to do together, where you can also bring a baby.
Be sure to document these times together with photos and frame a few around the house.
Use names that reinforce connections
Obviously, this new baby is the half-sibling of the other children; plus if there are “hers” and “his” children, then there are stepsisters and stepbrothers.
Try to shy away from using “half” or “step” so much. Technically those names are correct, but they don’t really describe what you are trying to say.
Say “sister” or “brother” instead. Those direct names help to reinforce the connection.
Help each child bond with the baby
If you have small children, they will probably naturally gravitate towards the baby. They can help by bringing diapers and holding the baby for short periods of time.
Middle school-aged children can go a step further and feed and tend to the baby while you make dinner, for example.
Teenagers or adult children can even babysit the baby. The more time they can have one-on-one, the more likely they will bond with the baby.
Be sure to point out that they are a great older sibling for the baby, and that they are vital to the family.
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Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.