I'm sure many of you must experience this. What do you do when an older sibling is delayed, and a younger sibling "catches up" developmentally, or even overtakes the older child? how do you give the older child pride in his or her place as the oldest and keep their self esteem high when they see they are falling behind a younger sibling?
My 6 yo just started kindergarten and is picking everything up so quickly. He is learning many sight words and sounding out lots of new words every day. We all read together at night, and I've always had my older child read aloud for part of the story, and all of a sudden the younger one is reading, and it's obvious that it is making my older DS feel bad that his younger brother is "smarter than him". :( Even as we're driving, the younger one is spotting road signs and reading them while the older one has to spend a lot of time sounding everything out.
It's so obvious when we're doing homework- the 6 yo just zips through it happily and is done, while the older one struggles and often can't figure out the most simple reading and math even with concentrated 1:1 help and praise and encouragement. I think it is only going to become more obvious the older they get, as the 6 yo thrives in the school environment and soaks it all up eagerly, and the older one struggles with the basics. They are nearly equivalent academically, even though they are 3 years apart.
How can I encourage my younger one in his learning while not making the older one feel bad about himself? I don't want to have to hide my younger one's abilities because he should be able to be proud of his accomplishments as well, and not be put down because we don't want to hurt his brother's feelings. yet I can see how this would breed a lot of sibling resentment so see a younger sibling advancing so much.
What have you done in this situation?