Friends come and go, but families are forever. Take the time to make sure your children get along and treat each other respectfully.
If you are expecting baby number two, it might be a good idea to start thinking about how you plan to tackle the issue of sibling rivalry.
By taking a proactive approach, it's possible to create a harmonious household in which everyone gets along. Here are some key strategies to help.
Share the love
One of the most common causes of sibling squabbles is jealousy. If the older child feels they are being replaced, or aren't getting the attention they used to, they may act out by creating trouble.
Make sure you are dedicating part of every day towards spending some time with just you and your older child. Use that time to do something they enjoy, and praise them for any accomplishments or good deeds they have done recently.
Get them involved
Caring for a new baby can be tough, and you need all the help you can get! So why not make big brother or sister a part of the team and get them involved in the parenting process?
Try to play to your older child's personality. If they are a born entertainer, have them play with the baby and make them laugh. If they have a nurturing personality, involve them in caring for the baby by getting them to help with baths and nappy changes.
Be a referee, not a dictator
You want to act as a mediator between your two children, but try to avoid getting involved in every slight squabble. Encourage your children to take responsibility for their actions and you might just find they work out small issues for themselves.
That said, be ready to put your foot down if need be. You should always step in if someone is at risk of being hurt, and don't be afraid to lay down the law if you are getting particularly tired or stressed.