For example, let’s say you have a new baby and a four year child. There are many ways you can help create harmony between them from the beginning. Here are some suggestions:

Help your child have as active a role in welcoming the new baby into the family as they want to have. They may want to participate a lot or only a little. If they want to be very involved, let their particular interests and abilities guide their activities:

• Ask for their help.
• They can fetch things for the care of the baby.
• If you have a cradle, they can rock the baby.
• They can make pictures to decorate the baby’s place.
• They can choose music to play for the baby.
• They can tell the baby about what they have done each day.
• They might like to help dress the baby, and even change the baby’s diaper.

Very often children want to hold newborn babies. Encourage them to sit while holding the baby, but if they really want to hold the baby while standing and even walking, don’t be afraid.

They are strong and competent enough to hold such a tiny person, as long as the baby is calm. Just stay nearby in case either one of them needs some help. This could be a valuable form of bonding for both of them.

Of course, it is important that they understand that the baby is a person just like everyone else, with needs and wishes which must be taken into account.

If you, as parents, keep this in mind and practice it with the baby and with your child, then they are most likely to do so also. Remember that the parents’ behavior is their children’s prime example of proper behavior.

If you want them to cooperate with each other and with you, be sure that you habitually cooperate with them.

Make sure you both and each spend special time with your child. Do things with them that they really like to do. Now is a good time to offer them experiences that they have not had before, but might enjoy and find stimulating and satisfying.

Even if you didn’t make special time for them before the baby came, now it is important that you do so. Otherwise you can find your time being taken up with the baby and the usual life tasks, and your child gets pushed aside, not intentionally, of course.

Help them come to associate the baby’s coming with more satisfaction and fulfillment rather than less.

Encourage your child to make their own decisions. Encourage their independence and their competence, but let them go at their own pace.

Faithfully practice respectful interactions with them. The more they develop themselves and their life, the less they’ll be bothered by the inevitable loss of some of your attention.

Babies take time and attention, as well as love and protection, and don’t forget very early mornings and sleepless nights.

If they want to be a baby again for a while, let them. Let them suck a bottle if they want to, and have a special blanket or stuffy. If you resist their need to do this, they could carry on with it longer than they might otherwise, in defense of their need to do what they need to do.

You might talk with them about how they feel about people coming to see the new baby, maybe even bringing gifts for the baby but not for them. If this is a problem for them, together you can come up with solutions which are satisfying for all of you.

It is time for the father to bond with the baby while you spend time with your child, and a time for your child to explore the other loving people in their life besides you and their father: other relatives, neighbors, friends.

If they have not learned this already, it is a good time for them to learn that other people can help satisfy their needs, and can offer loving support.

Make sure that these people know about and practice respectful interactions with your child. Tell them that you want them to use The 1 Rule and always find agreement with your child. To find out more about The 1 Rule, sign up for The 1 Rule Tip Sheet. Go to www.happykidsco.com

Author's Bio: 

“The Miracle Worker...of Education and Parenting”: This name was given to me many years ago because I have mastered Positive Respect, and my results with kids can seem miraculous.

After completing my B.A. in Anthropology, I went to India and ended up enrolling in the Indian Montessori Training Course, where I was trained and certified in the Montessori Method by Mr. A.M. Joosten, who had lived and studied in Dr. Maria Montessori’s household from the age of 14. He asked me to stay on the year after the Training as an Assistant to the Course.

In 1973 my husband and I returned to the United States and founded a Montessori school called Children’s House. We decided to incorporate and Beginnings Incorporated, a nonprofit community service organization, was formed. Then I got State of California funding for Children’s House.
I had three children and remained as head teacher at Children’s House for 15 years. When I was invited to start Community Educational Centers in India, I realized that I needed to share what I had learned about being respectful to kids with my community.
In 1992 I wrote what turned into my first book: Friendly Families. The fourth version, an ebook, Good Parents Good Kids came out in 2016.
Here’s what some people have had to say about version two of this book:
“An easy-to-understand book that gives a bundle of ideas and communication skills for building families that function peacefully and foster the kind of kids every parent wants.”
Dr. Thomas Gordon, Author, P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training
“My children are so nice now!” A mother of four, approached me at the Summer Arts Fair. She wanted to thank me for writing Parenting for the New Millennium. She had purchased it the year before, at the previous Summer Arts Fair. Then she implemented what she had learned in this book. She and her children were delighted with the results.
Besides writing, I give workshops, classes, spoke on the radio and wrote for a local magazine and newspaper. I created a website, www.happykidsco.com , which includes a member site with all my writings, audios, videos, and trainings.