Will My Child Be Jealous Of The New Baby?

Many parents worry about jealousy when they are planning another child or are already pregnant.  Some just expect jealousy on the part of the older child.  Well, you can predict the quality of the relationship between siblings using a relatively easy method. 

Observe the older child’s play with is or her best friend. The social abilities that develop at an early age with friends will translate into behaviors with the new baby.  Kids who have good friends and know how to be a good friend, have less antagonism and jealousy toward their new baby.  The older child who is successful with friends has probably learned sophisticated ways of getting along.  Therefore, they seem to know how to respond more effectively to a younger sibling. 

To read more research about the quality of sibling relationships, look at Laurie Kramer and Amanda Kowal’s article, “Sibling Relationship Quality From Birth To Adolescence: The Enduring Contribution Of Friends.” Journal of Family Psychology 2005, volume 19, #4 pp.503-511.

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