Turning the page on sibling rivalry


January 28, 1995|By Donna Erickson | Donna Erickson,King Features Syndicate

Sibling rivalry may be as old as Cain and Abel, but when your own kids start quibbling nonstop, it's hard to accept the jealousy normal behavior. It seems to start when a child tries to understand why the new baby in the house isn't just a visitor but is clearly there to stay!

If a second child has recently arrived in your home, here's a great idea to help the preschool-age sibling along in understanding his own abilities and how important he is to the family. It's a simple bookmaking activity your child can make with you.

First, talk to your preschooler about his skills and abilities. Perhaps your child has learned how to count to 10, or how to hop. Jot down the achievements on scratch paper.

On construction paper, use markers to print "My baby brother" or "My baby sister" at the top and finish the sentence with a characteristic about the new baby that fits one of the categories you discussed with the older sibling. For example, "My baby sister sleeps in a crib." Underneath, print a corresponding idea -- about the sibling, such as, "I sleep in a big bed." On a second sheet you may write, "My baby sister crawls" and "I can walk, run and skip." On a third sheet, "My baby sister eats rice cereal" and "I eat hamburgers." Continue for several pages, ending on the final page with something both children have in common, such as, "My baby sister can smile." "I can smile too!"

Let your child illustrate the pages. For the cover of the book, glue photos of your preschooler and the baby on another sheet of paper and print the title in block letters, "My Baby Sister [or Brother] and Me." Punch holes along the left side of each sheet and tie the pages together with bright ribbon or yarn.

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