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Coping with a siblings special birthday day

Home Forums Parenting Kindergarten & School Age Coping with a siblings special birthday day

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Macy Macy 6 years, 5 months ago.

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    Blog Editor

    My son turned 3 today.  It was a bit of a rough night.  He got a new toy and his sister (5 years), immediately wanted to operate it.  She wanted his balloons, she wanted to blow out the candles too, she wanted to help him open his cards, etc… etc…

    She is typically very good at sharing and compassionate towards her brother but his getting all of the attention tonight was really hard.  We tried to explain that she too will have a birthday and that this is her brothers special day, we even let her have a turn at blowing out the candles (no song singing) and gave her a turn to operate the toy but it just never seemed to be enough.  She WAS exhausted from a busy and long 3-day weekend of activity but I still expected her to cope better.  Perhaps we should have spent more time prepping her the day before.  What have you done to help your child cope when another sibling is in the spotlight?

    Profile photo of Macy

    My kids are about the same age difference, and I similar behavior from my oldest a few years ago. One thing I did differently the following year was involve her in the planning of my son’s birthday. I had her brainstorm ideas for the party theme, help me go shopping, make decorations, etc., right from the beginning. That way, she felt like she was throwing the party for him too and was very proud of it when the day came. It also was great for her when relatives/friends told her how wonderful the party was, and thanked her for her hard work (I made sure to tell them she was the official party planner!).

    Even if you’re not having a party, you could involve your oldest in planning dinner or even baking the cake for your son’s immediate family celebration. Involving her as a "planner" may offset some of the jealousy the older ones have at being a "guest" but not the guest-of-honor!


    This may not always be appropriate for immediate family celebrations, but during a sibling’s birthday party you could allow the other child to have a friend of their own be invited. It would give them a special person to play with and diffuse some of the jealousy they may feel about not being the center of attention.

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