baby with big brother

What’s the role of the older sibling?

Having a big brother or sister is simply great! One day they will be your closest friends, a good support in life and in the difficulties you meet.
In this article we won’t talk about how to prepare the older sibling for the appearance of the new baby in the family. We’ll talk about what role in the younger sibling’ life plays the older one.

  • The older child is a role model for the younger one. The things that the older child is doing will influence the younger much more compared to what you’re doing as parents. That’s why it’s quite important the older sibling to be a good example for the younger with its behavior.
  • The older child is a good helper for mommy and daddy when the baby comes at home. The big brother or sister should be included in the baby cares and home activities. That’s how the child will feel important in his duties and this way it will build good self-esteem and confidence in himself. Later on all these qualities the child will transfer to its younger brother or sister.
  • It’s quite important not to use the older sibling as a third parent! We shouldn’t forget that he/she is still a child that needs to play and to have his own personal time.
  • The big brother/sister should support his younger sibling without allowing it to act against the family rules. He should guide him and help him deal with the difficulties that meets.
  • The older sibling will help the younger one to socialize easier. He/she will introduce the younger child to new friends, will show it how to play with other children and will protect it when needed.
  • The big brother/sister should make compliments and encourage his little brother or sister in its actions. Being a role model, his/her opinion sometimes would be worth much more than the one of the parents. That’s why a good encouragement made by the big brother/sister could contribute a lot for building confidence in the younger child.
  • The big child will be a good partner in the games with the younger child.
  • The older sibling could help the younger one to learn new skills. To teach it the colors, the forms, letters, new songs, to cut paper, to play various games etc.
  • The big child could calm the little one when there’s any kind of a problem. Could hug it and tell it that everything would be just fine and even help it resolve the problem.
  • The big brother/sister should show the little one that they must respect mommy and daddy and the established family rules. It’s quite important for the harmony in the family.

Of course, the big sibling could have a negative influence over the younger one. But here comes the parent’s role to avoid that.

Maybe you think that all the above mentioned it part of the parents’ responsibilities. And you would be right. But, in addition, if you turn it in a game for the older child just look how important he will feel in his role of a big brother/sister – defender and mentor for the younger child. This will build very stable relationships in the family, feeling of safety, love and harmony.