A new sibling may be difficult for some children to accept. Even when children demonstrate excitement about the arrival of a new family member, they may feel a fair amount of uncertainty about what it means for their role in the family.
It is important to offer meaningful support to children about a new adopted sibling. Patience, attention, and active listening will help parents prepare them to accept and embrace the upcoming change.
Explain why a new family member may need extra attention
Children commonly feel distressed when they see parents focusing attention on a sibling. Talk to your children in advance about why you may need to spend time helping a baby or young child who you are adopting.
Let them know that their new sibling needs their attention as well. Make them feel proud about the responsibilities of being a brother or sister.
Involve children in preparations
Show children that they have an active role to play in welcoming a new sibling. Do not let all of the preparations be something that is just happening around them.
Make them active participants and ask for their help. For example, ask for their help choosing items that they think their new brother or sister will like.
As early as possible into the adoption process, Invite your children to ask questions and encourage them to express their feelings. Also, ask them questions instead of only making statements to them. A dialog with questions can help children apply their own reasoning to form a positive perspective towards an adoption.