Changes in a family, for both children and adults, may or may not be pleasant. That is why if we make a decision that can affect the life or daily life of our children, we must be very careful and take into account some considerationsat the moment when sharing the news or our decision of talking about this topic. In this post we show you some points that we recommend you take into account when announcing the arrival of this new person in their lives.
1. Inquire about their concept of a sibling or half-sibling
Approaching and asking discreetly can give you tools to know or know in advance what concept your child has about it. It can even help you not to take it personally or that it is your fault but is very open to the idea. You can start by asking about what you think of other people. When a new brother came into the life of a friend, relative, etc. preferably use examples of people who are his age.
Ask him how he thinks his life changed, whether he thinks it was for better or for worse; what they told him, and how those people faced all the challenges in the face of change. Put the topic on the table and guide the conversation as a way to even analyze the event together, but from the outside, taking distance. So momentary emotions will not lead one hundred percent to the conversation, but it will be something deeper but relaxed. Explore.
2. Find out their fears
Any change can bring with it fears, discontents, and grief, which being new are difficult to face, that is why investigating them prior to the event puts us at an advantage. She asks what she fears most about having a half-brother. The most common thing you will encounter is the fear of being displaced. Investigate what actions would indicate or make him feel that he is not taken into account, for example: that more space will be given to the new person, if you brought the other child a sweet or gift and not to your kid, etc. This can vary greatly depending on age.
You can even ask where did he learn that or where did he see that, not to apprehend, but just to know, if he had gone through that before, or at school, and how he managed to solve it, in this way you’ll see the skills that he can develop, just as your skills, and see how the actions can be misinterpreted.
3. Express your reasons and emotions
Once they are already talking about emotions, share, talk about why you would like to bring them into their lives. Talk to him about how important it is to you that they get along respectfully, and that your love will not change. As the days go by, as it has an opening, do not turn all color pink. Also, talk about potential conflicts and your concerns. Making him see that although it is a decision that you are making and will affect his life, in one way or another, he will have the opportunity to participate and make a decision regarding his interaction with the new person.
It is also worth it that you share all your fears, and ask him to give you some advice or question about what he would do in your place, this can open a space of empathy. Remember to just ask for advice on some things, and avoid overloading.
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4. Establish a space for dialogue to express your feelings
Once you talk, although for you the talk has already taken place, for your son or daughter it may not be so simple. The only way to know apart from noticing it in some changes of attitude that presents is to ask. Encourage by example, avoid saying I have nothing when you have everything. Communication is the foundation. Ask him to tell you, and don’t scold him for having anger or sadness, accept the emotion and work it out, it may be a good time to lean on a professional therapist.
5. Allow time for you to process the information
Try not to give the news, days or hours before the change, the more time they have, you can make small modifications that you think you should make when your half-brother arrives, so you will not feel everything at once, nor will you blame him, the change will feel less threatening. In the same way, if you want to be alone to process it tell him that you will be there to listen to him, but that you also respect his feeling and space, it is part of the processing of information as the grief he may experience, which is nothing more than an opportunity to develop new skills, do not feel guilty if you see him strange, it is normal and it is part of the process, better support in what you need.
6. Appreciate your support and every effort
For them they are small big steps, they can be titanic and very significant actions even if they seem small. He always appreciates and recognizes every effort, reinforcing everything he does to adapt. In case sometimes you do not want to cooperate, you can get their attention without going against them, but only point out their action and listen. It will be somewhat laborious, but little by little with teamwork and patience you can enjoy it.
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