However it happens, becoming a big brother or sister is a massive change for a child. Moving from having their parent’s undivided attention to having to share them with another child can be hard.
This can be even harder when the younger sibling comes into the family via adoption. They arrive having already lived somewhere else and so have developed likes, dislikes and routines. The best way for them to feel happy and settled with their new family, is to keep things the same as much as possible.
That usually means big brother or sister is the one who has their routine disrupted. It’s hard trying to manage the two different needs for consistency when the two routines are very different.
We definitely found this when we brought our youngest daughter home. She was almost six months old so obviously needed a lot of attention. Our eldest daughter had just started school and had very different needs for consistency. It was a difficult time trying to manage their needs around two very different routines.
“So You’ve Adopted a Sibling”
There weren’t any books around at that time to help our eldest understand what was happening. I was therefore delighted to hear that Holly Marlow had written another book to help children who are becoming an older sibling through adoption. The book was written with Holly’s birth daughter in mind, but it works just as well for an adopted child who’s going to become an older sibling through adoption.
Holly asked me to review “So You’ve Adopted a Sibling” and kindly gifted me an electronic version of the book. Once again, the wonderful illustrations have been created by her daughter. The book has the same theme as “Adopting a Little Brother or Sister” It has a striking black background, and the illustrations are created in chalk, giving it the look of being written on a blackboard. I think this works brilliantly for a children’s book.
The book is written from the perspective of a child who has a little brother who came to their family through adoption. It’s their tips for other children who are becoming older siblings.
Tips about becoming a sibling through adoption
The tips start with making sure you eat your favourite food first so you’re little brother or sister doesn’t try and pinch it. This made me laugh because that’s exactly what happens in our house! Our eldest always eats fruit / veg first and then leaves the good stuff til last. Our youngest does the exact opposite and then wants the good bits from her sister’s plate.
There’s great tips about compromising, taking it in turns, how to keep favourite toys safe, coping with the noise a baby makes and so much more. All big lessons but because they’re written from the perspective of a child, they won’t feel like an adult telling a child what to do. Children will think of it as a friend talking to them about how it was for them.
I’d definitely recommend “So You’ve Adopted a Sibling” to anyone who is adopting a younger sibling, to give their older child some tools to use to cope. Our eldest daughter thought the book was great and said she wished she’d been able to read it before her baby sister came home. She thought the tip about wearing goggles in the bath was spot on!
If you’d like to read more book reviews, including reviews of Holly’s first two books, click here.
This review includes an affiliate link through Amazon for the book. That means if you click on the link in the article to the book, and then buy it, I get paid a fee from Amazon.