← Go back Six Ways to Encourage Older Siblings to Be Involved
Published on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 by

Children reading books togetherRaising a family can be so exhausting. Ever wonder how parents of big families are able to do it successfully? It is a matter of getting older siblings involved, that’s how! The key is to show your appreciation and make it fun for your older child whenever they assist. 

1.Give Outgrown Toys to Younger Siblings
Encourage your older child to give outgrown toys to the younger sibling and even play together. That way, the younger children can quickly learn how complex toys work. Explain how happy this can make a little sister or brother.

2. Reward Them
With a newborn in the house, older siblings naturally want to help out. It is a great way for your older child to feel more involved. Reward him or her with an extra 30 minutes of TV; extended bedtime; a cookie after dinner or consider occasionally taking your older child to movie as a special reward. Even small tasks such as picking up toys or pacifiers can make a difference. It may not seem like much, but with a newborn on your hands every bit counts.

3. Let Them Read to Baby
If your older child is in the early stages of elementary school, they can practice their skills by reading to the younger sibling. Take your older child to the bookstore and let them pick out a favourite book. This gesture helps the older child to feel appreciated, especially with all the attention the newborn is getting. From time to time, invite your older child to help in getting baby ready for sleep and you can take turns reading to your younger child.

4. Let Them Hold Baby
Holding a newborn baby is a wonderful experience. When you are able to supervise teach your older child how to carefully rock Little Brother or Sister. This is not just a way to give some responsibility, it is an effective way to teach older siblings how fragile a newborn is and how much extra care is needed.

5. Make Them Feel Grown-Up
Get your older children participating in chores around the house, and turn it into a game! Choose chores suitable for the age of each child. For example, you could have them help in preparing dinner; taking out the trash or separating and folding laundry. Make it fun and use the opportunity to teach organizing skills and eco-friendly tips.

6. Be Careful Not to Overload Them
You don’t want your older child to see Little Brother or Sister as a burden. So ensure you are not giving too much responsibility. Their assistance should help to form form the bond between siblings at a young age. All the more reason to make their assistance – however small – a pleasurable experience! Just make sure you show how much their help is appreciated and take the time to personally thank them for helping out when he or she just volunteers to do something to assist you. 

Getting older children involved teaches them about the responsibility it takes to raise a family and how everyone in the family can and should contribute. Sometimes Mom and Dad need a break and even the smallest fingers can make a difference.

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