Parenting the last born child can be quite a challenge as you will need to learn when to tighten the reign on the baby of the family.
Some birth order traits of the last born child include – natural charmer and manipulator, loves being in the spotlight, loves social settings, loves surprises and spontaneity.
It can be said that parenting the last born child is almost the opposite of parenting the first born.
While you need to learn to relax with the eldest child, you will have to tighten the reign a little when parenting the last born child.
Parenting the last born can be smooth if you follow these tips:
1. Set boundaries
The challenge with parenting the last born is that there may never ever be well-defined boundaries. Things are naturally more relaxed around the house now and you may have already learned that being too strict and particular is not very helpful. However if you want to successfully be able to control the precious baby of the family, you will need to set you foot down and know when to say “no.” FIRMLY and MEAN IT. No means No, and don’t allow your baby to let you think otherwise.
2. Be Fair
Set clear rules and make sure you stick to them. Treat every child in the family equally. If they broke a rule, they broke a rule and should be given the appropriate disciplinary action. If his elder siblings were never allowed to step into the kitchen alone, make this rule the same for the youngest too. The last born is usually most likely to be able to get away with trouble, and this is going to be challenging when parenting the last born. If the kids were playing and broke a vase, the would have to face equal consequences. Never allow yourself to believe that your last born was influenced by his elder siblings to get into trouble.
3. Control Yourself
Your baby is a born charmer, which means he is going to manipulate you if you allow him too. See the situation as it is and deal with it. Don’t let him mislead you to thinking otherwise. Remember, you are the parent and you have the power. If your child wants a toy at the store, he may not tell you directly that he wants it. You may leave the store empty handed, but he’ll be going on about it, “how nice if I could add that to my cars collection, it would be perfect.” Think of it positively though, he is going to be a natural salesperson!
4. Encourage independence
Your baby may be well-protected by you and by the older children tend to help this along by helping him out. This can lead to a lot of things being done for the baby of the family. Parenting the last born should involve encouraging him to take initiative and help out. If you send him to get his bed done, allow him to attempt the task on his own without help. If you allow help to be given at first, he is likely to think, “it’s okay if I don’t get it done, someone else will do it anyway.”
5. Give him the spotlight
A lot of comedians and entertainers are last born children. They love being in the center of attention, so give them the opportunity to do so. Have a family gathering? Get them to do a little dance or sing a song. Babies of the family love social events, so show your love by getting them involved and allowing them to show off their talents!
Parenting is never an easy task to do, as you will have to employ different strategies according to your children’s unique personalities. Every child has a different personality, and therefore different needs, which you’ll have to pay careful attention to find out what they are. Remember to also read my post on how you can discipline your child without punishment.
What were your challenges when parenting the last born and how did you have it figured out?