Is it easier to raise 2 siblings of same gender, or different gender? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-21-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 3yo daughter, and just had a beautiful and healthy little boy 4 weeks ago. joy.gif

I think I was secretly hoping to have a girl again though, even though I wasn't admitting it, as I have so enjoyed raising our DD so far. I am now having a hard time coming to terms with having a boy, and I'm still getting used to the idea. 

 

One of my concerns is whether having siblings of different gender might be harder to raise than siblings of the same gender. I imagined that it would be easier for 2 boys or 2 girls to find common ground as they grow up, and find it easier to play together.

 

I'm kind of worried at the thought that they may not want to play together... My DD has gravitated towards some more "girl"-type interests, that my son may not necessarily be into as he becomes a toddler and beyond...

 

I guess I'm trying to get some reassurance that all will be ok, and maybe some advice on how to make sure they do become close enough so they can share some of the same interests and enjoy spending time together.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Old 08-21-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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This is way too subjective for me to answer with any wisdom.

I have one of each and I'm glad that I get to experience both but since I did gender free parenting with them when they were small they are much more alike than perhaps a typical sister-brother pair. They both went through a train stage, a lego stage and a dinosaur stage. They both liked hats and necklaces, they both had a love of stripes and polka dots when allowed to dress themselves for school. I could go on and on but I think you are getting a picture. They also played together quite well until the oldest hit forth grade.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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I think whether siblings get along depends a lot more on the individual kids than on their gender.  I had 3 siblings, a sister and 2 brothers, and the one I got along best with and played with most was my brother who was 3 years younger.  I have an 8 year old girl and a 5 year old boy, and they get along well and play together a lot.  (I was not a super girly girl, though, and neither is my DD.)  I know another family with two girls about the same ages as my kids who are very different from each other and don't play together well at all.  My opposite-sex kids are much more alike than those 2 girls are like each other. 

 

It seems to me that when there are 2 kids in a family who are close in age they often end up competing with each other and/or trying to be as different from each other as possible, and when they're the same gender I think that tends to be even more extreme.  My DP and his 2-years-younger brother are really, really different from each other, and never got along as kids.  (On the other hand, my sister's 2 boys got along really well until they were teenagers.  And my mother and her older brother never got along as kids and never liked each other much even as adults.)  Based on real-life examples I know of, I think older sister/younger brother is a combination that tends to work out better than some of the other possibilities.

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Old 08-21-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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op - I can totally understand your worries. I was really kind of hoping for another boy with this baby 'cause I had this image of two rough & tumble little boys running around the farm together. But the fact is there is no guarantee that the 2nd boy would be as rough & tumble as the first one. A girl may or may not be really into girly things. I really do think it has more to do with personalities than gender. My Mom has 2 brothers & 1 sister - she always got along much better with the boys than her sister. I've definitely known families where the girls or boys get along great but just as often where they simply are not.

 

I think at this point I'm more concerned that the 3 year age difference will make it hard for my two to really play well together until they are older. It'll be interesting to see how it all works out.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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Old 08-22-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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I have an older dd & a younger ds. They're 8 & almost 5. Dd is a typical girl & ds is a typical rough & tumble boy. They play beautifully together. (With a little sibling bickering, of course!) Even with different interests, they're able to find a common ground. They literally play together for hours at a stretch. I do expect them to drift apart for awhile during the teen years - as I did with my sibling - but, we'll see.
I do agree, however, that, when it comes to sibling relationships, a lot depends upon personality.

ETA: OP, I've actually wondered if the reason they get along so well is due to the fact that they're different genders! I'll be interested to read other's experiences.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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I don't think gender matters nearly as much as personality.

 

I have 2 boys.  They get along pretty well but they can fight like crazy too.  But that's mostly due to their completely opposite personalities and the age gap. 

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Old 08-22-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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Doesn't matter much really.  I have two girls but my brother and I were the same distance in age as my girls.  We rocked the backyard playground.  We did sort of split apart as we got into our teens but then became the best of friends later on. 

 

My girls fight a lot though, I don't know if it's a girl thing but most of my friends raising boy/girl pairs seem to have less drama.  They take care of each other more.  Not exactly sure why though.  I would love to do some research on that. 

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Old 08-22-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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My DD just turned 3 in June and my DS will turn 2 in November.

 

I was the same way...LOVED my girl and was secretly hoping #2 would also be a girl. We got a boy! Not a day passes that I am not increibly thankful for my son. My DD gravitates toward Dada (they are the "best friend club"!) and my son is 100% All. About. Me. He is such a little man and unbelievable fun to be around.

 

They play together all day long. We don't do TV, a lot of movies or a lot of "gender" stuff...they play with all the same toys and love to run in the woods together and be "rough and tumble" together. THey both love to cook with me. DS loves to tag around and hold the basket when DD is out at the coop collecting eggs. It works wonderfully.

 

He is sweet to her and she "mother hen"s him all day long. She is so nurturing and wonderful and he adores her. They fight sometimes, but they work things out really well. My sons language skills are just starting to really come out and she understands him better than anyone. They talk all day long, she instructs him and he complies, nodding and babbling...they really are quite the trouble-making pair!

 

I think they are so close because they are close in age, spend all day together outside (we live with lots of animals in the middle of the woods) and because their personalities mesh really well.

 

Don't worry, it's not going to be anything like what you think....it's going to be 1000% percent more fun, love and awesomeness than you could ever imagine.


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Old 08-22-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

 

It seems to me that when there are 2 kids in a family who are close in age they often end up competing with each other and/or trying to be as different from each other as possible, and when they're the same gender I think that tends to be even more extreme. 


This was exactly my experience with my sister who was 24 months younger then I was. We fought NONSTOP, the competing between us was insane, and the attempts to be completely opposite. I have no idea how we survived honestly! Our fights were very physically and extremely violent at times, like when she attempted to bash my head in with a rock when she was 11. To this day we have nothing in common and only still tolerate each other because we are sisters, but if we weren't related, we would would never talk. 

 

 

I had two girls followed by 2 boys. My boys aren't old enough yet to do much together, my girls are old enough, 8 and almost 5 to have entered the non stop fighting stage that I still remember vividly from my own childhood. The youngest girl and oldest boy play and fight together as well, only time will tell if the fighting will get to the level that it has with the two girls.  My girls have different interests as well, while they do play some of the same sports, they are opposites in their intensity level and neither one relates to the other one. So far, the two middle kids, girl and boy, and the most alike and I can see them being buds. I don't place a high level of importance on siblings being best friends, you can't choose the kid's personalities and that IMO, is often what dictates if they get along well or not, not gender. I want my kids to like each other and sometimes that means giving them their own space and allowing it to develop naturally. My DH and I just had a big discussion about this very subject over the weekend. To keep us from tearing our hair out, the girls have to be spilt up at times. Weekends often means I take a girl and a boy and he get the other girl and boy for a day. If we are all together then, no one is happy because they are just screaming at each every 2 seconds. I just keep repeating to myself that this shall pass...


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Old 08-23-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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I just want to add that growing up I was extremely close to my siblings.

 

I have a sister who is 16 months younger than me. She and I grew up as close as twins and remain that way to this very day. My brother is five years younger than I am and four years younger than my sister...and then our little tag-along, my youngest sister, was 11 years younger than me. We did absolutely everything together growing up, the whole pack of us, and while I can think of a few pretty nasty brawls we had, most of our disagreements were quietly and calmly worked out.....for kids, we had a very good sense of fairness and, often times, the two who were in disagreement about something would each tell their side of the story to a third sibling and that third sibling would say what they thought was fair. We very very rarely bickered. Here's why:

 

Our mother did not tolerate fighting. Period. "Fighting children are children with not enough to do" she used to say - kids caught bickering were put to work. Immediately. Polishing silver, folding laundry, mowing the lawn, you name it. If there wasn't any ACTUAL work to do, she made some up. "Move that pile of rocks from there, to over there...and then move them back again.

 

We never had anyone making up fun games for us. We never had anyone separating us because we were fighting and my mother had ears that could hear a mean whisper....if she heard anything that even SEEMED like it MIGHT be fighting..."You, you, weed the garden....YOU take the baby and go see about the laundry"...every time.

 

Fun was up to us. Fighting was not tolerated. Everything we did, whether work or play, we did together. Team work was key, avoiding the slave driver (my mother!) was critical.

 

The best game we ever played was "steal enough apples, bread and peanut butter to keep us fed for the day, pack the baby sister in the wagon and get out of the house before she could find ways to make us busy.

 

To this day, the four of us are unbelievably close. We speak on the phone constantly and are here to support each other now that we're all forming families of our own...it's beautiful. Better than I ever could have imagined.

 

When I was a kid, I thought my mom was a mean mom. In many ways, I still think she was harsh. But some of the mean things she did, I can see now with the clarity of an adult, and I realize that she was trying to build us up as a team. She was trying to instill a sense in us, that all we had that we could truly count on, was each other. We have made it through some rough times together and my siblings always have my back through thick and thin.

 

In everything I do with my kids, I support attachment to me, to their father....but the relationship I spend the most time thinking about, is the one between the two of them. That's why my DD has chores and my DS, since he was old enough to walk, tags along to help. Even if it's holding the bucket, holding the hose. When they get a snack to take outside, they eat from the same bowl...always have, so they don't even think about it. When they get a piece of something to share, I never break it in half for them...I hand it to them and say "go on now, share it" - how they break it up is up to them...and don't think for a second my DS doesn't pay attention. When they nap, they nap together. Everything together, always.

 

The reward for this, is that at the end of a long day of cooking together, napping together, sharing plates, working on DDs chores together, etc....I get to watch them hold hands and run off into the woods together, where they play and make up songs and stay away from the house as long as they can.

 

I'm not saying I have anything figured out....but there is a science, I believe, to the art of relationship building when it comes to siblings. I know people who have kids who are at each others throats and I know people who have kids who work, play and problem solve very well together with minimal fighting. I think personality comes into play, but I also think that the way a family is structured lends itself to closer or less close relationship between siblings.


Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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Old 08-23-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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Yeah, this.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post

I don't think gender matters nearly as much as personality.

 

I have 2 boys.  They get along pretty well but they can fight like crazy too.  But that's mostly due to their completely opposite personalities and the age gap. 


 

I have 2 girls and a boy.  Now, my girls are less than 2 years apart, and I thought it'd be awesome that I could pass clothes down, and toys, etc.  Except girl #1 is a total outdoorsy tomboy.  Hates dresses.  Loves pants...especially jeans.  Loves tennis shoes.  Girl #2?  Complete and utter princessy kid who refuses to wear pants.  She will only wear dresses and dress shoes.  So, there goes being able to pass down clothes.  She doesn't like the same rough and tumble games as my son and older daughter.  But, the two girls will play dolls together.  All three of my kids are completely individual, with their own personalities, likes, interests, dislikes, abilities, and challenges.  Their gender has no bearing on making them get along or be easier to raise.

 


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Old 08-23-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Like you OP I have one girl (older) and one boy (younger) and they are 3 years apart.

 

I agree with what many of the pps have said.  I think how well they get along has way more to do with personality than gender.  My two have kind of  a love-hate relationship.  Yes, they sometimes fight like cats and dogs, but most of the time they play really well together.  They love to build forts, pretend they're animals (dogs usually), play with lego or playmobil, etc.  Ds also looks up to his older sister and likes dressing up in pink and putting on "makeup" (facepaint), and (because his sister has been begging for it lately) has also been asking for nailpolish.  I'm thinking this might change when he starts going to school, but who knows.  FWIW my dd's best friend in the whole world is also a boy - he is 2 years older than her (he's MY best friend's ds).  I really don't think there has to be any difficulty with boys playing with girls. 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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I have a boy and a girl who are 3 years apart. They get along well, share a few mutual interests but also have some different interests too. It's to be expected because they are different people not just different sexes/genders.  

 

It's okay if your ds isn't interested in the same activities as your dd. Balancing everyone's needs, sharing and compromising are terrific things to learn, particularly at a young age. However, you may find that your ds inspires your dd to try some new activities. DD started playing hockey because her older brother did and it made sense to sign her up if we were all going to be at the arena for hours on the weekend. She loved it and played for years. DS creates his own stenciled graphic t-shirts and jeans, partly inspired by his sister's work re-making vintage clothes for herself. I wouldn't insist that they must participate in the same activities if they aren't interested - but that's true whether it's 2 brothers, 2 sisters or one of each.  

 

I know 2 brothers who beat each other up all the time. I know 2 sisters who argued all the time, with the elder one bullying the younger unmercifully. Family dynamics can be healthy or unhealthy whether or not siblings are all males or all females. 

 

 

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:22 AM
 
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I have 2 of each. Relationships are fluid and personality dependent. Right now my closest two kids are a b/g sibling group and my two that are struggling to manage their relationship are another b/g grouping. Sometimes the same sex siblings get along and sometimes they don't. Sometimes it is a function of age and sometimes its one of interest.

 

I think if you encourage healthy relationships and keep exploring things as a family, it will all be fine!

Karen


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Old 08-25-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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I imagine it really just has a lot to do with how we parent and foster relationships.  I've been looking into this more and honestly it really seems it just doesn't matter the gender. 

 

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Old 08-27-2011, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. I see that it mostly has to do with personality than anything else. This is really reassuring. Thanks again.

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Old 08-27-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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Yes I agree that it has more to do with personality than gender.

 

I grew up in a family of three girls. I'm the middle one and my older sis is 3 years older and my younger sis is 3 years younger. Growing up I was closer to the younger one. As an adult I'm closer to the older one. But honestly, I'm not especially close to the older one. We were very competitive growing up and I think some of that lingers today...that could have to do with how we were raised.

 

My DH is the oldest of 3 boys and they were all VERY close while growing up but aren't close at all as adults (they don't even speak to each other really save 1 or 2 times a year).

 

I have 1 boy and 1 girl--just shy of 3 years apart-- and they are very close....very nurturing towards one another. But I think this has to do with who they are vs. them being boy/girl.

 

 

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Old 09-05-2011, 09:39 PM
 
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A little OT, but Lovebuggy, did you enjoy your childhood overall?  We've always planned on having 3 kids and now that we have 2 DDs I'm a little worried about having a 3rd DD since I think that combo might be particularly difficult for the middle child since both older and younger siblings are the same sex.  Even at 5 months old, DD2 is obviously a very different baby than DD1; DD2 appears to be a social extrovert like my DH and DD1 is a shy introvert like myself.  I'm sure we'll have many interesting years ahead raising 2 very different individuals.  I just hope we can foster the right environment so that there is always love and respect even if there are (many?!?) disagreements.
 

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Yes I agree that it has more to do with personality than gender.

 

I grew up in a family of three girls. I'm the middle one and my older sis is 3 years older and my younger sis is 3 years younger. Growing up I was closer to the younger one. As an adult I'm closer to the older one. But honestly, I'm not especially close to the older one. We were very competitive growing up and I think some of that lingers today...that could have to do with how we were raised.


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