Bonding between young siblings
Hi, my kids are 19 months apart (both boys, now 9 months and 28 months), and we initially had rosy images that Big Brother would just love being with Little Brother since they are so close in age. Instead, Big Brother is very jealous, which we understand is normal, and we do try to give both the attention they need and foster healthy interaction at every opportunity. I am the younger of 2 and estranged from my own sibling (3 years older), and I believe a lot has to do with how my parents always defaulted to reprimanding my older brother if he and I had any conflicts. As a result, we are not close, but I want something different for my own children. After talking to a friend with 2 girls, she recommended the book "Siblings without Rivalry", which I have yet to read, but a lot of her advice was to start 'planting the seeds' when they are young. I am mostly wondering if certain big decisions could help plant the seeds and have a positive effect for sibling bonding, or if it might backfire. Some things I'm considering: sharing a room (we want to, but again, Big Brother seems to not want Little Brother around; we are only holding off because Little Brother doesn't sleep through the night yet and we don't want Big Brother to resent him more), attending the same daycare once Little Brother is ready (that would mean possibly delaying preschool for Big Brother,) attending a Montessori preschool where the ages are mixed (looking at more affordable options), seeing if Little Brother can be only one year apart in grade school from Big Brother (though not sure if this is possible since Little Brother is an October baby). What has worked for you? Was there ever a time/situation where you felt you were forcing the bonding to take place and it backfired?