Help Your Children Adjust to a New Baby

Getting a baby brother or sister is a milestone in any child’s life. To minimize the family stress associated with a new addition to the family, you’ll want to help your children adjust with these practical strategies while you’re expecting and after your baby is born.

Steps to Take While You’re Expecting

1. Get an early start on any major changes to daily routines. Give your child time to adapt to any big transitions long before the new baby comes home. This may include moving to a new bedroom, toilet training, or starting preschool.

2. Talk with your children. Let your kids know what to expect. Give them a chance to ask questions and express their concerns.

* New parents are bound to be tired and less attentive. Explain that this is just temporary and assure them of your love. Take a positive tone, but be respectful of any anxieties your child feels.

3. Read books together. There are many children’s books and videos that discuss getting a new brother or sister. They can help your child understand the process and make it easier for them to talk about their feelings.

4. Practice with a doll. Give your son or daughter a doll they can use to learn how to hold a baby. Praise them as they get the hang of supporting the head and using a gentle touch.

5. Share family memories. Break out the old baby books and tell your son or daughter how excited you were about their birth. Look through their baby pictures and pick some out to display around the house.

6. Invite your child to participate in your pregnancy. Bring them to your prenatal visits and see if your hospital will give them a tour.

* Some families even bring their kids into the delivery room. If you plan to do this, ensure they’re well briefed and have an adult assigned to watch over them.

7. Make your baby’s homecoming a team effort. Give your kids a role to play. They may want to select the outfit the baby will wear home or help send out birth announcements. Make the day special with a cake and some small gifts for every family member.

Steps to Take After Your Baby is Born

1. Spend regular one-on-one time with your child. However busy your schedule gets, set aside time to give each child your full attention. Plan special outings or let them choose a book or game to enjoy together.

2. Encourage visitors to notice all your kids. It’s easy for your son or daughter to feel left out when everyone is fussing over the baby. Make a deliberate effort to steer positive attention their way. Bring them into group discussions and brag a little about their accomplishments.

3. Work as a team in caring for the new baby. Find age-appropriate tasks your kids can excel at. Even toddlers can help by smiling and talking with their new sibling. Older kids may want to pitch in with bathing and feeding. Let your family find its own comfort level.

4. Respect your child’s privacy. Siblings are great for teaching how to share, but your child probably still wants some items and places to call their own. Honor their preferences for toys they’re happy to share and possessions that they want to use exclusively.

5. Praise your child for their contribution to your growing family. Most of all, let your son or daughter know how much you appreciate them. Applaud their progress in becoming more independent and giving of themselves to help the family run smoothly.

It’s challenging to deal with a new sibling. Give your children lots of attention and guidance to help keep harmony in the family. The relationship between brothers and sisters is a precious gift, so get them off to a great start.

Free Yourself from Anxiety

Don’t let anxiety and worry take over your life – it can make you sick and can ruin your life! You have the choice to allow it to or not. There are ways to help yourself overcome this obstacle.

  1. Figure out what is stressing you. Is it something you can change? What is the true source?
  2. Be careful not to put blame on a secondary source when in reality the primary source is causing the stress. (in other words: don’t quit your marriage just because you haven’t dealt with something else that is truly bothering you – this will take some soul searching)
  3. Change: there are plenty of areas you can change in your life without throwing away a lot! Diet, exercise, attitude, volunteer, shop, study a new language and more.
  4. Spend some time on you!

Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety:

  • Know your anxieties
  • Write them down
  • Breath
  • Visualize a better situation
  • Positively Affirm yourself: “I am…(insert positive statement that applies)”
  • Diet and exercise: take good care of yourself – it will really take care of you in return (and your worries!)
  • Seek support – if you need help – look for it – talk to someone – look online or in the phone book. Help is only a call away!

Learn by example. Watch and listen to others that have gone through hardships. Read books – you will read about someone that is worse off then you and who made it through. There are many success stories and free programs that will help you realize your strengths and stay away from anxiety.

Anxieties are a part of life but they don’t need to be the foundation of yours. You are strong and smart and you have come a long way – give yourself some credit – you deserve it!

Manage stress well and take the reins – they are yours to take – no one else will do it for you. Good luck – you are on the road to health and wellness and you will be so happy for all the work you do for yourself.

How to Live Anxiety Free

Anxiety freeAnxiety is something that can truly take over your entire life. Ultimately sickness can occur if we let stress and anxiety rule our lives. But no need to fret for there are natural ways to combat the feelings of stress and anxiety and below I share some with you.

Controlling Stress and Anxiety

First you need to understand what is controlling you that may be causing the stress and/or anxiety – what are the triggers? Can you control it or is it something you need to manage instead. You can overcome some stressors just by simply managing them. If you don’t like where you live or the kind of job you have – you can take steps to improve what you have or work to change the location or job. Taking control via steps of action is key.

Changing Your Health

One sure way you can change your situation is by changing your health. Some people do not think of it this way – but you can be in control of your health by taking control of your diet and exercise.

By categorizing and organizing your anxiety and stress – you can learn to manage and control this aspect of your life.

Here are some tips that may help:

Organize anxieties – Write down who or what triggers your anxiety. Write down ways that you can feel better when the anxiety first starts. You can have a plan of attack so-to-speak. Being prepared will help you mentally defend yourself.

Breathe well – Rapid breathing can enhance a  panic attack and hyper ventilate. Make sure you remember to breathe deeply and slowly to calm and relax yourself when you feel a stressful moment coming on.

Visualize a calm place – Take yourself to a happy place – a place that makes you relax… keeping in touch with what makes you happy and relaxed really helps this process. Imagine being in an ideal situation. Visualize yourself letting go of the stress and calming down.

Encourage yourself – Repeat a powerful and encouraging statement to yourself. Saying, “I am worthy of a new and fulfilling job, one where I am treated with respect and not abused”. This kind of statement can be very powerful to use when you are stressing out from work and anxiety seems to be ready to take over. You can create a statement for any situation. Reassuring yourself of positive things is very powerful for your mind and makes your mind very strong.

Grow healthy – Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help you in finding your happy place.  A strong mind couples with a strong body. If you abuse your body by eating unhealthy, processed foods and drinking lots of alcohol/taking drugs – your body and mind will spiral downward.

Backup – Have someone to talk to that can support your efforts and encourage you. Letting friends and family help is a great and it will help strengthen your mind as well. Professional help is also available and there’s nothing wrong with using a professional counselor to help you.

Remember to take great care of yourself – you are the best and only person to do this. Taking care of your body and mind is always the best thing for you.