[name_m]Hi[/name_m] y’all! First time account-maker, long time forum lurker… lol.
I have three children, (Theo 6, [name_f]Bri[/name_f] 5, and [name_f]Cassie[/name_f] 2). I’m 40 weeks along with my fourth, set to be induced on the 5th, and DH and I have decided to wait until birth to find out the gender of [name_u]Baby[/name_u] #4. [name_u]Theo[/name_u] desperately wants a brother, to the point where there are practically nightly freak-outs (). How will I help him manage if #4 is a girl? DH just has stepsiblings and I’m the youngest, so neither of us have ever dealt with this before. Help!
Well first, congrats! And I’m all about some team green!
[name_f]My[/name_f] stepson had just turned 6 when we told him we were expecting. He wasn’t excited at all. And we were not finding out the gender until delivery either. He was less than happy about a baby, but even more “disappointed” (for lack of a better word) that it could be a sister. It was this way for most of my pregnancy. He would ask why we couldn’t find out already and why would we not want to know and if he had to come to our house if it was a girl .
He has a sister at his mom’s and towards the end we sort of figured out that he assumed all sisters were the same. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband told him that it would be ok if it was a sister and she might be just like him and not like what he was envisioning. She could like to play ball and fish and dig in dirt etc and she might not too. He just reiterated to him that we loved him and would love his baby, brother or sister. It didn’t change how any one felt about him. A brother might not be all he thought it would be either. He was essentially able to get him to see that there could be pros and cons to either and that changed everything. By the last month-ish, he was saying it would be ok if it was a sister but he still wanted a brother.
He was relieved to say the least when his now almost 2 year old brother arrived!
I think his feelings were from more of a jealous place (he had us all to himself until little brother) and afraid he was being replaced by a repeat of his sister. Your son just doesn’t want to be outnumbered and the only boy, which is hard too. Maybe explaining to him potential benefits of being the only boy if it’s a sister? Let him seem both sides! [name_f]Hope[/name_f] [name_u]Theo[/name_u] gets onboard super soon and delivery is super smooth!!
We have friends with the oposite situation- an oldest sister with a handful of younger brothers! [name_f]My[/name_f] friend makes sure her daughter feels like the princess, and gets special perks: her own room, special outgings with mom, extra emphasis on the things she likes which don’t jive with her brothers, opportunities with friends… In fact, after the last baby was born mom bought matching mom-and-me pj’s to show an extra connection to her. Perhaps your husband can make that ‘manly’ bond extra strong to let him know that as Dad’s right-hand man he’s special and unique.
hi not a parent but i’ve seen this happen irl. if baby is a girl, even if theo is upset at first, once he meets the baby he’ll be smitten. and it might take an hour or a day or maybe even a week, but as soon as he gets to know them, the disappointment will be gone. i do also think it’s important to remind theo that having a sister doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t have someone to play with trucks with or climb in the mud (if that’s what theo is looking for) - or that a brother doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t want to play with dolls or other “girly” things. anyway, i hope this helped! congratulations and good luck!
I would talk to [name_u]Theo[/name_u] about the reasons he is upset about the possibility of another sister; perhaps he fears missing out on a bond like his sisters have, perhaps he thinks a boy will automatically want to play the same things as he does, perhaps he wants to choose “boy clothes” for a brother or perhaps it’s something else really.
I think once you’ve gotten to the bottom of why he’s so upset, you can approach the topic better.
Also, in case you do have a boy, it might also be helpful to explain to him that he’ll have to share the baby with his sisters, even if they’re not boys
Hopefully he understands you don’t get to pick the gender. You are not going to chose a baby boy just because he really wants one and he isn’t going to be able to influence the outcome. If he is upset if baby ends up being a girl, i would empathise with his feelings: “you seem really disappointed, I can see you really wanted baby to be a boy and instead it is a girl. I understand how sad that makes you feel. Boys and girls are both great to me but we don’t get to pick what we get when we have a baby. I am so glad I have you ect.”
Perhaps once the excitement and suprise has past and the new baby is settled into the family and there is less focus on the topic he will find it easier to move on. The upheaval of a new addition is a challenging time for most children and 6 year olds are often hyper aware of their own gender and what it means to have girl toys or boy colours.
The first step is to find out why your son dreads the idea of another sister so much, and then take it from there. Children his age have their own logic, but they understand much more than you think and are usually very open to your reasoning. Don’t dismiss any of his worries or fears, how ever ridiculous they might sound to you at first.