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Positive stories of siblings with 4-7 year age difference?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I would love it if people would share stories about having a 4-7 year gap between their first and second children.

While I was pregnant with my son we planned to have 2-3 kids, 2-3 years apart. Then I found out what motherhood was like! (actually, I had a very unpleasant birth experience and what with thankfully minor medical issues and general high-needs, Kiddo and I had a pretty rough first year) He's a little over 3, I'm just now starting to feel up to having a second baby. My husband and I are thinking of TTC this fall/winter. I was lucky enough to get pregnant very quickly last time, but in the spring I'll hit the magic age (35), so I know it may take a lot longer this time.

All the anecdotes I have about bigger age gaps are not positive. My mother was an only child until 10, and still resents her siblings today. My sister (6 at the time) tried to burn down our house when I was born! Now we love each other, but it was rough going for a good 12 years. The other anecdotes I know are less dramatic, but still not very positive.

I know there are great stories out there. Will you share yours with me?
post #2 of 64
Mine are 4 yrs apart. DS1 absolutely LOVES his baby brother. From when he got to clean him up after birth, he has been smitten. He hugs, cuddles, helps and plays with him. He has had zero resentment, no acting out... DS1's preschool teacher says DS2 is the best thing to ever happen to him- he takes such pride in being a big brother. He looks for all "brother" things, he calls DS2 "my baby", they play and giggle. He shares everything with his brother. He even wanted to share his bike racing medals that he got in the city tournaments ("One for me, and one for DS2..."). He fed him his first food, he pushes him on the swing, and when we pick him up from school, the first kisses are for his brother.

And, with a little distance between them, DS1 has his own thing going on- he can play, visit friends, go to school, be (sort-of) patient, can do a lot for himself so they are not competing so much in needs or attention. Because DS1 has a whole different life at 5 than an infant, it is easy enough to work it.

Really- its been great and I'm so glad we waited a bit.

I really think it is not age between them but personalities of the kids involved.
post #3 of 64
I think it all depends on the individuals and there are no age spaces that guarantee a harmonious relationship. You should be just fine.

I am 5 and 7 years older than my sisters. I was thrilled to death when they were born, we played together a ton as kids, I both mothered them and played at their level. When I was older I took on more of that role as I 'sat' them and was allowed to be the boss.. I will admit I was too controlling sometimes - that's one thing you have to account for when one kid is older, smarter and stronger than another, it's all too easy for us to get our way. But I always got along better with both of them than they did with each other - they fought a lot. Now that we are 24, 19 and 17 we are pretty much peers and don't even argue anymore.

My 5-year-old nephew has two sisters 5 and 6 years older than him. They adored him when he was a baby, but don't play with him much at this point because they are busy with tween stuff. In general they have a positive relationship - they get along better with him than each other, fight like cats and dogs. And they are only 17 months apart so if a very small age gap makes for a good sibling relationship, they are outliers.
post #4 of 64
We have a 6 year gap between DS and DD. DS is so adoring of DD and has been a HUGE help since she was born, he can do a lot for himself & me which is indispensible!! He's more capable of compassion, understands how to be gentle and patient.

Any time he hears her crying, even when he is playing with friends, he rushes to her side and she stops to smile at him A life saver when I can't seem to comfort her.

It is a bit of a gap so they each kind of get a taset of being raised like an only child. I don't see that as good or bad but, an interesting experience.
post #5 of 64
NAK...
Mine are 7 yrs apart and so far there has been NO downside. Granted, dd2 is only 1 so there might be negatives in the future but so far it's been wonderful. Big sister comes running if the baby so much as sticks her lower lip out and little one will stop fussing for my 8 yo faster than for me sometimes. I try not to ask too much of my older one as far as baby care goes but it sure is a huge help to have an older sibling around to hold the baby while I go pee all by myself!
I'm sure the individual kids' personalities play a huge part but it sure is working out great for us.
post #6 of 64
We have a 4.5year age gap between my girls & almost 10years between my youngest dd & 9mo ds. I love it. We tried to have everyone closer, but took me a long time to get preggo w/dd#2..and then never thought we would get pregnant w/ds it took sooo long.

I loved the age difference between my girls..I thought I would never do it any other way. A lot easier than 2 in diapers for sure! The 10year age gap is certainly not ideal, but my girls dote on 9mo ds...he is one lucky babe
post #7 of 64
I'm 8 years older than my brother but less than a year older than my sisters. I didn't play much with my brother and mostly I remember him pitting me and one of my sister against each other when I was babysitting him. But we are still family.

Now my 4 are 2.5, 4, and 13.5 years part. My youngest has more in common with his 4 yo nephew than his sisters. He has grown up as an only child in a family of 5 adults. His relationship with his 2 oldest sisters is more of an adult/child relationship. It's his 3rd sister that he has a semi sibling relationship.

My sister's 2 are 6 years apart. While they might not have played much together as children, as adults they hang out together as much as possible.

My dad is 10 years younger than his next sibling. He is the "baby". I don't know much about how he interacted with his sisters but, as adults, I remember growing up visiting my aunt for holidays and of them coming down to visit several times a year.

But you can't assume that your children will have similar relationships if they are far apart in age. It's really going to depend on their personalities and your family dynamics.
post #8 of 64
I plan to have children at least four years apart... hopefully closer to seven...

My little brother and I are almost seven years apart. He absolutely adored me, and while we had occasional problems, they were really due to financial constraints, not our age gap. I think our age gap was perfect. We remain close.

My dp and his little brother are almost ten years apart, and they are the closest siblings I know.
post #9 of 64
I ended up being a sort of 3rd parent for my little brother. Not out of any expectation of such, but because I was old enough to be given permission when I asked to do stuff with him. Which was often.

He's the person we've chosen to be Lina's guardian if the need should arise.

One thing my mom did that really helped encourage us to do stuff together was we didn't get in trouble at all if we did something together, had to clean it up, but not even an angry look about it. Also, we were allowed to not like each other all the time. There was no pressure that things had to be perfect between us. It also helps that I asked for him.

Two of the best siblings I know are a 10 year old and an 9 month old. ( nvm, I see Minmoto2 already posted about them.)
post #10 of 64
My fantastic kiddos are a little over 5 years apart. While they obviously are in different age groups, with different wants/needs/likes/dislikes, they get along great! DS is very gentle with DD, plays with her,totally protects her, and is such a great help with her too. He entertains her in the car by making faces, they love to chase each other around, he reads to her, helps her eat, etc. Now it's not like they're throwing a ball with each other or having super in depth coversations, but it works. When I see other adults with this type of age difference with their siblings, I tell myself, once they're adults it doesn't matter what the age difference is. What matters is the type of relationship they have. Of course I hope my children are always close! Oh, and it sure was nice not having 2 napping,2 having too many sharing issues,2 not sleeping thru the night, etc. Plus I've gained a lot of knowledge and experience raising DS without a sibling for so long.
post #11 of 64
My friend's DP is 12 years younger than his older sister and I don't know tons about his childhood, but I do know that he loves it that way and he told my friend he wants a long gap between kids, when they get ready to have them.
post #12 of 64
There is 7 and 8 years difference between my brother and sister and I.
I don't have anything bad to say about the age gap between us.
I actually am a bit sad that my kids are not really old enough to have a clear memory/ understanding of pregnancy and birth with a younger sibling.
post #13 of 64
my dd is exactly 5.5 yrs older than ds, and it has worked out beautifully. she was old enough to really be involved with my pregnancy, and we really encouraged to take an active role with ds. she adores him, and he thinks the sun rises and sets because she tells it to. seriously. i am so glad we spaced them like we did. there havent been issues of jealousy, and i feel like my dd benefited from being an only for so long, and ds is thriving having such a loving big sister. it is nice to be able to focus on him while dd is busy with her own interests also.

plus, i don't feel ragged out and spread too thin with the ages they are at. i would lose my mind trying to parent 2 very small tots at once. i would totally burnt out and overwhelmed, and i know i would feel like i couldnt meet each one's needs. i know plenty of other mamas can do it, and i admire that, but i couldn't!

edited to add
my little sister and i are spaced the same-5.5 yrs-and we are very close. we weren't always, especially not during the first decade or so of her life, but in hindsight, my own parents didn't do alot to foster a relationship between us.
post #14 of 64
My dd and ds are 4 years and 6 days apart and I absolutely LOVE it! The gap is large enough that there isn't a lot of competition. Ds (currently 9) has always been so kind and loving to his little sis (currently 5). He loves to "teach" her how to do things and help her. Dd looks up to ds and thinks he is just awesome. I think that they just feel very comfortable in their roles in our family. Ds has never seemed to feel like dd was taking anything (affection, love, stuff) from him. He has always seen her as an addition to his fun. Now I am 24 weeks pg (this one will be a 5.5 year gap) and I am sooooo looking forward to it. It's been quite a while since I've had a baby! The kids can't stop talking about it and are really excited also...although they both were hoping for a sister and I'm having a boy.
post #15 of 64
My sons are four years and four months apart, and it is wonderful. It was so nice to have an independent little guy when baby #2 arrived, and my older son has taken beautifully to the role of 'big brother'. I was just saying to my mom last night that he was a part of our little circle of three for so long, that it must have felt to him like we ALL got this new baby, the baby is for ALL of us. He's taken an active role in the baby's care and -- as a mama of a boy you might appreciate this -- has elected himself "Captain of the Poop Patrol", in charge of alerting us to a potential "Code Brown" if we don't catch it right away. He's very protective of his little brother and now that Teddy is 14m and starting to be lots of fun to play with, things are just getting better.

My brother and I are almost 7 years apart and I just adore the kid. Again, there were enough years where it was just me and my parents that I was very secure in my place in the family. If anything, I may have acted too much like a "little mother" to my brother -- but on the flip side, he loved me too and would follow me and my friends around. Now that we're both grownups we still think highly of each other and hang out by choice.
post #16 of 64
My girls are 4.25 yrs apart and the spacing has worked out wonderfully thus far. DD1 will be 8 in a couple of months and she mothers her little sister and adores her and as dd2 gets older, they do more peer-like playing. I'm so, so, so glad we waited until we were truly ready for another baby instead of rushing into it!
post #17 of 64
I don't know if this is the kind of story you wanted, but DH is 6 and 7 years older than his sister and brother and they have always been a very close and loving family. In fact, as adults the age difference has all but disappeared. They all became parents with a year of each other so that gave them something to bond over in a new way. My MIL says she wouldn't change her baby spacing for anything, and that DH was a big help to her and thoroughly enjoyed his little sibs!
post #18 of 64
No negative stories here. My sibs are 16, 13, and 11 years older than I am. We've always been close and still are. The generations in our family are completely wacky (ex: my DD is the age of my great-nephews), but who wants to be like everyone else?
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
Mine are 4 yrs apart. DS1 absolutely LOVES his baby brother. From when he got to clean him up after birth, he has been smitten. He hugs, cuddles, helps and plays with him. He has had zero resentment, no acting out... DS1's preschool teacher says DS2 is the best thing to ever happen to him- he takes such pride in being a big brother. He looks for all "brother" things, he calls DS2 "my baby", they play and giggle. He shares everything with his brother. He even wanted to share his bike racing medals that he got in the city tournaments ("One for me, and one for DS2..."). He fed him his first food, he pushes him on the swing, and when we pick him up from school, the first kisses are for his brother.

And, with a little distance between them, DS1 has his own thing going on- he can play, visit friends, go to school, be (sort-of) patient, can do a lot for himself so they are not competing so much in needs or attention. Because DS1 has a whole different life at 5 than an infant, it is easy enough to work it.

Really- its been great and I'm so glad we waited a bit.

I really think it is not age between them but personalities of the kids involved.
I could have written this post but my second baby is a DD and there is a 5 year gap between them. DD just turned a year so things may change in the future but as of now, DS is very sweet to his sister and they play together well. He loves to make her laugh and loves to help me take care of her.
post #20 of 64
I purposefully decided to have at least 4 years between mine and actually wouldnt have minded 5. My dd was so sweet and protective of ds. She is 4y12d older than he is. She started school just shy of 5 so that allowed me to have 1 on 1 time with ds I wouldnt have other wise had. She was sleeping well by that point and was old enough to understand a lot better when ds needed me when she wanted something.

If I had been going to have more kids there would have been at least 4 years between them as well. It is so much easier to deal with a newborn when you dont have a toddler needing you as well.
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