How To Parent Firstborn Kids
Firstborn children are most likely the first experiment for parents on how parenting a child looks like.
The firstborn child gives the parent the first test sheet on how real children act. These kids tend to act older than their age. They are often diligent, hardworking kids who seek to please the adults around them.
Here are some tips on how to parent firstborn kids;
- Give him/her options: Every parent’s desire that their kids do certain things they never had the opportunity to do that they are now privileged to be able to afford now. They indirectly want to live their own desires through their child’s life. These parents are the ones who would register their first-born kids for swimming, music, tennis, painting, music back to back. They forget that the child involved has interest and should be consulted to know her preference. Let your child make her decision on what activities she prefers.
- Don't make him/her a security guard: Your child should not be made to be your eyes, nose and ears. The tendency for you to make him babysitters of his younger siblings is strong. Avoid holding them responsible for the actions of his younger siblings. Just because they are older does not mean they are adults. Let them be kids too, who deserved to be loved and cared for too like their younger siblings.
- Overlook inconsequential actions: Our children are learning how to do things, sometimes your firstborn kid does chores that are not up to your taste. Resist the urge to nit-pick, redoing the chores in the sight of your child emphasises the already present need for perfection that your child battles with innately.
- Let him/her see the bigger picture: The perfectionist instinct in firstborn’s kids tend to push them to be so focused on perfecting the task that they lose out in the fun of learning. Parents should help their first-born kids find a balance in getting a job done and being open and flexible to other learning.
- Focus on him or her not their skills: Parents tend to love their kids for their abilities and not for themselves. This shows in the type of comment you make when he/she does or does not do something. Tell him” I’m proud of you” NOT” I’m proud of your singing ability”. Focussing on your child’s ability puts an unusual strain and burden on your child to live up to certain expectations that may be overbearing.
- Teach your child healthy compromise: Life and relationships is not all about my way or the highway! It’s about meeting people halfway. The tendency to insist on having her way when relating to people is high which may manifest as bossiness or aggression. This would make her lose friends and peers. Parents should be ready to teach the importance of being willing to share and concede in some areas in order to be relatable to others.
- Avoid being overly strict: Discipline and firmness are very important traits in bringing up kids. But first-time parents have to flexible to allow some freedom for their first born child to thrive. Video games can become addictive so does taking caffeinated drinks but restricting your kids from playing games may boomerang to making them crave for it more than they should since they have been deprived of it for so long.
- Spend time together: Make time for your first born child, he or she needs some attention too. Many times parents look out for the younger sibling and leave the first born to himself with the belief that “he is old enough, he can take care of himself. Make a special effort to relate with your firstborn. Take him out alone, give him a treat, and praise him for all his effort on his siblings and for having your back when you needed help. All this will ease up resentments and misgivings.