My partner and I recently told our bio son, who is five, that we are going to try to adopt a second child.
He is SO excited!
While I am very glad that he has such positive feeling about this, I am also concerned about how realistic a five year old can be about this. He has lived for five years as an only child, and now he will be sharing the attention, toys, tv time, and everything else with another child.
Though he is excited now, I worry that he will be angry with us the first time his new sibling does something that he doesn't like. How do I prepare my son for the fact that though having a new sibling will be wonderful and will give him someone new to play with, there will be parts of adding a new person to our family that will be difficult?
It is really hit and miss with how children will react when a new sibling comes into the home. I was an only child for 4 years and when my sister was born I despised her. I wanted a brother. Luckily with adoption your son can help you decide what you want. Make him a part of it as much as possible. There are a lot of kid books about babies and adoption out there. 5 y/o understand a lot more then we give them credit for. I would just talk to him and let him know that things will be different but in a good way. Long as he doesn't feel like he is forgotten through the whole thing you should be a-ok. :)
Thank you both for asking and answering this. I have been thinking when my son is five of doing the same thing (he is three now). The only difference is that I am a single parent. I am not sure how he will react after being on such a one on one relationship for so long. Plus his father is very active in his life and I am concerned about the adoptive child feeling left out of that... So much to think about.
Our son is also 5 and he is also super excited to adopt a sibling, and completely unrealistic about what it means. We have been working the process (licencing, homestudy, etc.) for almost a year now. During that time we've had lots and lots of little conversations with him about how his 'someday brother' WONT always be the new best friend he imagines. We figure having lots of background conversations will help us have a starting point to deal with his feelings when his expectations run headlong into reality. I don't really know what else to suggest, but talking about potential problems - sharing, jealousy, personality differences, etc. - in advance can't hurt.
The major issue for him right now is the waiting. He has thrown a couple of fits about it, and yelling and crying that we lied to him because we said we were going to adopt a brother and we haven't done it. :hissy: To a kid his age, a year is a freaking eternity, and of course there is a lot more waiting yet to be done, and we can't even say how much longer it will take. Sometimes I feel like throwing a fit too!
DramaMama 5 is also struggling with the waiting issue. She has known she has a sister ever since she can remember, but she never arrives! We talk about WaitingOne as a real sister, talk to her on the phone, send pictures etc on FB, but for now, that is our reality.
DramaMama knows that having a sister won't always be easy, and we don't even know if they will get along, but wouldn't it be great if...and we talk about how to handle all sorts of situations. The goods and the bads. It helps that I have a sister and we don't always like each other either!! But we will love each other forever!
When DramaMama was 'interviewed' by the SW during our home study, it went like this
Do you know what adoption means? Yes, when you get a new sister and they get a new family. I have a sister and her name is WaitingOne and we are adopting her
What do you think about that? Well, (loonnnggg sigh) I am a bit worried (eye roll)
Why are you worried? (dramatic whisper) She might be a bother:arrow:
What could you do about that? I could tell my mom and then she would tell her to share and then it would be alright
Some days I think I should not talk about WaitingOne, and that it would make it easier for DramaMama, but she is our daughter and she will be here eventually. If I try to not talk about her, DramaMama brings it up anyway. My best theory is to be realistic, know and share honestly that it might be hard, especially at the beginning, but it might be the most wonderful, magical thing ever. fingers crossed
My daughter was five when her sister was born, also adopted. She handled it well, but did get extra clingy a couple of weeks later. Make sure when you have a party for the baby, make it also for your son. We called it a zero birthday party and big sister party. We bought some nice gifts for her and was very thankful for others (even though we did not asked) bought her gifts too. We bought her a special shirt. When we sent out announcements, we asked people to ALWAYS approach big sister FIRST before they saw little sister. We also took her out by herself for special outings sometimes just lunch or something like that where it was still just us. She soooooooo loved being a big sister, but when you are up with a newborn, and hardly getting sleep even if you try, the oldest does experience some changes that is hard for the oldest. Just continue to remind him how much you love him when he seems a little overwhelmed.