I’m not one of those parents who thinks that if you just encourage sibling affection, your kids will be best friends. I know how ridiculously lucky we are that our two have been buddies since day one, especially given that one is a calm soul and the other is . . . well, not.
And full disclosure, my kids fight like the best of them. “Warting” is an Asbyism for purposefully annoying your sibling to the point of provoking an outburst. We inherited this word from my husband’s family of three boys, and use it regularly. Maybe every day. But I’ve also found them like this almost every day, too:
Speaking of my in-laws, when they decided to surprise their children with a swimming pool a hundred years ago, they called their three boys into the living room for a family meeting so they could share the special news. The eldest boy trudged in, sighed, and said, “Not another baby.”
I love that story.
But back to
brainwashing reminding your kid that the new addition is not a screaming, smelly, parent-stealer, but rather a new friend with whom to share books.
These stories are a great place to start:
I went through a phase where I bought One Special Day for every toddler-turned-big-sibling I knew, and for good reason.
I discovered Sisters at my in-law’s house and couldn’t believe I hadn’t found it before. It is simple and lovely.
The Baby Tree is my FAVORITE book for discussing the birds and the bees. It’s hilarious, lovely, and perfectly illustrated. A great introduction for even young new siblings.
Loretta’s Gift is a lovely book that really empowers young helpers.
For books that don’t sugarcoat sibling trials but are heart-warming nonetheless, try Big Red Lollipop, Dear Sister (an Asby favorite), Carmela Full of Wishes, Whatever Happened to My Sister?, and The New Small Person.
King Baby is just for giggles, which is totally worthwhile. Not everything needs to be imbued with deeper meaning here. Babies are funny.
And on that note, also check out Mission: New Baby. I’m so surprised it only has two reviews on Amazon as of this writing. It’s hilarious, too!
Gentle and lovely, Mama’s Belly will encourage your little one to feel comfortable asking all the questions.
You Were the First is a celebration of firstborns. The sequels include The Second: Meh, We’ve Done This Before, and The Third: You’re Just Lucky to Be Here. (I’m totally kidding.)
And how could I not include this sibling book with a big sis desperate to read to her baby brother??
Happy reading (and warting)!