Sparing Sibling Rivalry
Siblings share a special bond – but try telling that to a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old who want to play with the same toy. If your household is experiencing more fighting than friendship, and a peaceable family dynamic seems like a pipe dream, check out these tips.
1. Stay Calm.
As the parent, you set the tone for family interactions. By keeping your cool when a situation starts to escalate, your children will learn to do the same.
2. Don't Play Favorites.
It may seem obvious, but avoid favoring one child over another or fostering a competitive environment.
3. Celebrate Each Child's Uniqueness.
Your children will be less likely to squabble if they feel appreciated as individuals. Take the time to interact with each child one-on-one doing something they love.
4. Make Family Time Fun
From family dinners to game nights, plan activities that will create positive memories for the whole family. These light-hearted moments will give your children less incentive to start fights.
5. Treat Each Child Fairly
Instead of treating each child equally, treat them fairly by tailoring punishments and rewards to their age, interests, and individual needs.
Budgeting for Baby: How Much Does Your Baby Cost in Year One?
How’s this for a sticker shock? Delivery aside, middle-income families can expect to shell out an average of $13,000 per child during their first year of life. Here are some key expenses to keep in mind as you map out your budget:
Essential baby items:
Before your little one arrives, you’ll need to gather all of the essential baby items, from nursery furniture ($400-$4,000) to a car seat ($80-$400), stroller ($100-$1,000), and baby monitor ($20-$400). Clothing in various sizes is also a must, and you may want to consider additional baby gear such as a diaper pail and activity center.
Diapers and formula (or breastfeeding accessories) are some of the most common recurring expenses you should account for. Disposable diapers can cost around $900 in the first year, while a year’s worth of formula can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 depending on the brand.
Child and medical care:
Not everyone will need to factor in the cost of day care or a nanny, but for those who do, know that it’s going to be a big part of your budget. Costs vary widely depending on geographic location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 to $37,000 annually. Periodic visits to the pediatrician will also contribute a few bills to the equation.