Hello, everybody! I hope you’re okay! When you find yourself pregnant with a new child, you necessarily ask ourselves the question of when and how to announce your pregnancy to our eldest? Many moms ask me this question. They are assaulted by a multitude of worries: “How can I tell him so as not to hurt him? What words to use? Tell him now, isn’t it too early? And so many others! I will therefore give you some ideas that will allow you, I hope, to make your choices about this famous announcement.
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When to announce my pregnancy?
First, let’s start by defining “the ideal time” to announce her pregnancy. Already, does this perfect period exist? I think, very honestly, that not. As I explained to you, the announcement to a child will generate in him many feelings. He will need time to live them, accept them. Thus, the announcement will be “brutal”. Of course, this does not mean that your child will necessarily react badly. This is not the case! Some children are delighted to become a big brother or big sister! On the other hand, I am confident that this announcement will awaken in them various feelings that they will have to learn to manage. Some children will get there more smoothly than others. So I do not think there is a perfect time to make an announcement. This period will depend on you, your child, your story.
It seems important to me, at first, to define the right time to announce your pregnancy. If your elder is young (under four years old), his or her notion of time is quite different from ours. Thus, the nine months of pregnancy may seem endless to her. But has on the other hand, time will be essential for him to get to the idea that a new baby will come and expand his family. It is therefore necessary for several months to walk and tame this idea.
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So saying it before three months or at your seven months of pregnancy do not seem to me to be suitable solutions. I therefore advise you to make the announcement to your child at the end of the third month. Why? Simply because the risks associated with miscarriage are reduced. Even if this event is not “nothing”, it would seem difficult to explain it to the child with understandable words. Then, because you have already lived a third of your pregnancy and your child will have six months left to live with you and prepare for the baby’s coming. Of course, this is not a deadline. This deadline will not correspond to each family history. It is rather an order of idea.
Some children feel very early on that their mom is pregnant. If the child perceives change but can not put words on it or the adult does not ask him, the situation can become anxious for him. Why do my parents speak in a low voice? Why is Mom tired? What are they concerned about? …” Obviously, if you observe a change in behavior in your child, it seems essential to me that you explain what is happening to you in a way that appease your child. Thus, you will not wait for the three months and prefer to tell him earlier. As I told you, there is no “ideal” time. It is up to you to find this moment based on your observations.
On the other hand, what seems common to all pregnancies would be to establish a temporality at the end of the term. When you tell his child that a baby is going to join the family, the notion of “when” is blurred for him. “In 6 months, in 4 months…” are very general terms that do not represent much to him. So it will be difficult for him to know when he finally meets his little brother or little sister. Therefore, I advise you to start timing the arrival of the latter when the date of the term approaches. In particular, you can explain that even if you are never sure of the exact date, the baby should arrive “when it snows” or “after the summer vacation”. The main thing is to allow the child to have a time mark.
I would like to conclude this section by telling you that this data is intended primarily for young children. A child of 7 years (or older) has greater abilities to spot itself in time. The duration of pregnancy, on the other hand, will be necessary to accept the idea that a baby will soon join you. Similarly, waiting for the first three months before announcing it seems to me justified although if your child changes his behavior or questions you about it, it seems important to tell him the news.
How do I make an announcement?
Now that we have given particular importance when you are going to announce your pregnancy to your eldest, let’s see how to think this moment.
First of all, I advise you to make this announcement for two. This will allow your child to understand, see, perceive, the joy that this pregnancy gives you. In addition, you both will have an attitude or words that could be perceived differently by your child. I find it interesting that he can seize your respective strengths to assimilate this great announcement. We all have our own sensitivity.
Of course, what is going to be important are the words you will use. Use simple words if your child is young. Conversely, do not infantile your teenager. The main thing, in my opinion, is to use righteous words that transcribe the truth. Your truth.
For example, you can tell him, “With your dad, we’re waiting for a child. We are very happy.” I invite you to use the “I” and the “we”. Thus, you put in words your feelings to you. Similarly, you can use the “you” to explain to him what it means to him: “you are going to be a big brother”. The question of pronouns is fundamental to me. With they, you give a place for everyone. So that one: “I am happy” does not include your child in any way. You transmit to him your own feeling.
In this same line, I advise you not to immediately ask your child questions. “Are you happy? You saw, it’s great! Do you take it well? ”. Indeed, this pregnancy is your choice and not hers. It disrupts his world. It can be taken from various feelings. To ask him the question as soon as the announcement could be anxiety for him. And create a reaction contrary to your expectations.
Then I think it is not necessary to put in words what the arrival of this child will generate for the family if you address a young child. For example, I do not recommend saying: “We know that it will not necessarily be easy for you. We’ll be there no matter what happens. We will love you so much.” Why? For this could create anxiety in the child who was not projecting that far. As a result, he imagines what his life might be when this child arrives. You project to him the idea that you might like him “less” when he wasn’t considering it for a second. In addition, I think that the adult seeks more to reassure himself by saying this than to reassure the child himself. Of course, this is done unconsciously. On the other hand, I am convinced that it is essential to leave an open door for dialogue. Your elder may very well imagine himself the worst scenarios and dare not to tell you anything. So I think it’s essential to think about a time of questions at the end of your announcement. “Do you have any questions you would like to ask us? In this way, you do not refer him to his feelings (“are you happy? ) but rather what might question him. You therefore respond, if necessary, to his fears. You will not create new ones.
To tell the truth, with simple words, without projecting your anxieties on the future and listening to your child’s feelings: this is what seems appropriate when telling your elder that you are expecting a new child.
There are also, after this announcement, a multitude of little things to think about how to gently prepare your eldest for what the arrival of a baby means.
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