Parents can make the transition of a new baby easier for children by preparing them beforehand. Most pre-teens will not be as threatened by a new baby as younger children are, but they still need some understanding of what's expected of them and what they can expect. Here are ten ways to help your pre-teen during this special time:
1. Tell your child what's going on soon after you know. Explain the changes that will take place and how they will affect her. Whether the changes seem good or bad to her, remind her that the baby is a gift from God, just as she is.
2. Let her go see the sonogram with you if she wants.
3. Let her help get things ready for the baby by fixing up the baby's room or picking out clothes.
4. Make sure arrangements are made for her to come see the baby at the hospital after the arrival.
5. When you and the baby arrive home, teach her how to hold the baby and allow her to help you.
6. Encourage her and let her know you appreciate her gentleness and love toward the baby. Lovingly correct any mistakes.
7. Spend time alone with her when the baby is napping.
8. Continue to discipline as normal, but be patient.
9. Make time to get her photo album out and talk about the memories of her birth.
10. Make sure she is getting plenty of sleep and eating nutritious meals. It's not easy when you aren't getting enough sleep, but try hard to keep your pre-teen's physical needs met as well as her emotional needs. This is where good friends and family love to help so take advantage of their generosity!