Friday, March 7, 2008

Do Kids Close In Age Have Closer Relationships?

When my middle son was 6 months old, I found out that I was pregnant again. Terrified at the thought of having two babies under the age of 2, I pretty much panicked. However, nearly everyone I talked to with children close in age said that their back-to-back babies were much easier to deal with, as they had each other to play with. Those whose kids were grown said that this closeness lasted their entire lives and the children were each other's best friend.

I was still a bit skeptical about the idea of 2, but tried to remain optimistic about the possibilities of their relationship in the future. In less than a year since my youngest son's birth, I am convinced that there might just be something to all the hype about having children close together.

Though initially there was a bit of jealousy from my toddler, as the baby has become more mobile and interesting, I already see a strong bond forming between them. While they haven't got the sharing thing quite perfected, they are learning to interact and play quite well together most of the time. I think that the experience of having a younger sibling is teaching empathy at a younger age. My toddler usually shows great concern when his brother is upset or gets hurt.

Things were a little tough in the beginning, when the baby was very demanding and taking my focus away from my toddler. Once he was used to the idea that the baby was here to stay, however, things took a turn for the better.

All in all, I foresee a great relationship for them in the future and think that having a close sibling will help them both grow and learn.

5 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Hi Shannan, thanks for sharing your blog. You should be listed on the directory in a few..thanks! :)

Shannan Powell said...

Thanks Jocelyn! Glad to be included in such good company!

Nikki said...

I would have to say that I do think kids closer in age have a close relationship but the arguments can be just as strong. My two middles are 16mos apart and it felt like they were learning a lot of things with each other. But when they would get mad... look out.

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

I can't say from a parenting perspectve-we have a 4 year old and a 1 month old-but speaking as someone who has a sibling VERY close in age [369 days] I'd have to disagree with you. I'm sure a lot of it depends on the individual families, but my younger sister and I *hated* eachother as children and barely speak as adults. There was a lot of toe stepping on and a sense of being constantly lumped together instead of being seen as your own person (you get the same toys only in different colors, you have to share practically everything...). I did not grow up enjoying having a close-in-age sibling and we were certinly not "friends and playmates" as parents often expect from children close in age.

Of course my older brother is 8 years older than me and we don't really even know eachother. I mean, we do, but we never played together or anything so we didn't have much of a relationship good or bad.

I get along best with my sister who is 3 years older than me. Of course we had our disagreements (Moooooom she's touching my curling iron!!) but we still had a much easier time relating to eachother than I did with my (barely) younger sister or my (significantly) older brother.

Sorry to go on for so long. Now I sound neurotic. :p I really do like your blog and I didn't mean to come across as a big meanie. I just thought I'd throw in my two cents from "the kids" perspective.

Shannan Powell said...

You know "mommy", hearing you say that made me think of some close-in-age sisters that I know that are in a very similar boat. Maybe it has something to do with gender. Most that I know with kids closer in age that seem to get along well have either two boys or one of each.

You certainly don't come across as mean, you're just sharing your own perspective! I can certainly appreciate that! Believe me, I'm certainly not jaded enough to think there will be no conflicts over the years. I see the potential for major blow-outs, but also see the base for a close relationship, as well.