Long before I got pregnant, we already bought a couple of children’s books for Dindin talking about having a sibling. She read them several times, and well, we did not really get a reaction from her.
Then we learned last January 1 that I am indeed with child, so we started conditioning Dindin for the coming of her sibling. She was 3 years and 10 months old. Right now, she is soooo excited for her sibling, who we are claiming is a boy. We even already have a name and Dindin endearingly calls him ‘Siote’–younger brother in Chinese. She always hugs my tummy, says “Goo-goo-goo…awww Siote is soo cute!” or “I love you Siote!” She would often to talk him and expect me to answer her. Even if I am the one replying to her, she still feels that it is Siote she is talking to.
I will be 19 weeks on the way by Wednesday and next week, we are planning to go an have a gender ultrasound. We will really request the sonologist to allow Dindin in the room so that she can see her sibling moving in my tummy. I am sure she will be thrilled.
Now what did we do?
1. We told Dindin about how our family loves her–her grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, and of course, us her parents. And we got her excited that one more person is coming to love her–her sibling. She likes the idea. In the same way, she also has another person to love. I think that is what you call positive reinforcement.
2. I would show her weekly photos of how a baby should look like in Mama’s tummy from the internet. She is thrilled to see each photo and would always ask when Siote will stop growing so that he can come out.
3. Her Papa also downloaded videos of how babies are formed in the womb until delivery–the scientific approach to pregnancy. She seems to have gotten the gist.
4. I also explained to her that there is another being in Mama’s tummy, which is why it is growing bigger. I told her that if she sits on me or bumps me, Siote is going to get hurt, which is the reason why she no longer sits with me on the front seat of the car. One time, she requested to sit with me in the car but I reminded her about Siote and she said, “Oh, sorry Siote.” hihihi She is going to make a sweet sister.
5. When I was younger, I would hear older people tell an older child when his or her mother is pregnant, “Ble…You will not be loved anymore coz you already have a younger sibling.” Now, tell me, how does that help at all? And then they would wonder why there is such sibling rivalry. Duh! So of course, we do not tell that to Dindin, because that is simply not true.
6. Lastly, we prayed and continue to pray for her. While we did some practical steps, I believe that it is still God’s guidance and enlightenment that are helping Dindin to grasp the idea of having a sibling.
We still have a long way to go because I am still halfway through my pregnancy. And then things will of course be different when the baby will actually be here with us, but we will continue to pray and work on Dindin to love her sibling and vice versa. But I think we are already in the right footing in terms of preparing Dindin for the coming of her sibling. 😀