can 2 siblings be "overly attached?" (hs related) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 09-02-2005, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a son 8 and daughter 6 who have been like two peas in a pod since they were old enough to interact. We homeschool so they have lots of time to play together during the day. They play for hours together. We don't have a big social network so they are each other's best friends. They sleep in the same room (different beds).

They are very close, get along very well, finish each other's sentences, etc. I always thought this was a blessing. But, my mother said something to me the other night that really bothered me. She said in a very judgemental, conspiratorial voice that she was worried about DD because she is "overly attached" to her brother and I should put her in school so she can make other friends and see there is a world beyond her brother.

Now, I *have* considered putting DD 6 in school, but not because of this. So I didn't know what to say other than, "Mmhmm, well, I have considered putting her in school."

But after the conversation, I started wondering if a sibling can be "overly attached" to another sibling. Isn't it a GOOD thing to be attached? I've always considered myself blessed that these two get along so amazingly well, which is not the case with my other kids (DD 6 and DD 3 fight a lot, which is one reason I am often tempted to put DD 6 in school ).

I do think that the fact that they are HSed increases DD 6 and DS 8's closeness and our family closeness in general. But isn't that good, not bad? Or am I missing something?

ps: my mom is a retired teacher/ principal
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#2 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 12:15 AM
 
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What other friend would you want for your daughter besides one whom you like, whose parents you know and like , who gets along well with your daughter, and whose family has the type of values you want instilled in your children?

Lucky you, your daughter has just such a best friend!!

If your kids were 18 and 16, and your daughter was extremely socially awkward and wouldn't do anything by herself because she had no experience interacting with kids other than her brother, that might be a problem. But the kids are 8 and 6! I think your mom has it all wrong!

ETA: I think a common complaint among parents who send their kids to school (or who have taken them out of school) is that peer dependence drives a wedge between siblings. I think your kids are more attached because of homeschooling, and I think it's great! It also sounds like they have personalities that just "click."

Namaste!
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#3 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 01:06 AM
 
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I am reading an interesting book right now titled "Hold On To Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, it deals with the importance of parents over peers and also the importance of an attached family.

I think you may find it an interesting read meowee, maybe your library has it?
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#4 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 01:44 AM
 
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My kids are one year younger than yours (7, 5 & 2), and my 7 year old DS & 5 year old DD are close. They sleep in the same room, and (unless I separate them for talking too long) usually in the same bed. They don't fight with my 2 year old DD, but they don't get along as well with her. She's significantly younger and in a much different developmental stage.

Anyway, I'd say that it's not so much that they could get "too attached" but that they could get "disfunctionally attached." For example, if they were being raised in an abusive household where they were having to protect each other. That seems less likely in a healthy home.

I would say that as long as you're providing them with opportunities to interact with the community on a weekly (or more often) basis, they'll probably find their own balance. I encourage you to try to find them a network (homeschool support group? clubs? sports?), not to make them less attached to each other, but just because most kids are happier that way, and I believe we're wired to live that way--in a community of friends/relatives in varying ages.

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Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#5 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 05:55 AM
 
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That just sounds absurd to me. I mean, are either utterly traumatized if the other is even out of the room for a few minutes? THAT would be overly attached, imo.

Simply genuinely enjoying eachother's company, and being so close such that they even finish eachother's sentences? That's just great.

I had that with my younger brother when I was growing up. We were closer than any other set of siblings we knew. We would still fight, of course. However, we just really got along and had fun together for the most part. We oddly shared Many similar interests.

Outside of the home, I made friends easier. But at the same time, all of my friends would end up my brother's friends as well. He made some on his own too, who remained just his (I was way too cool to hang out with other kids two years youger )
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#6 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 09:59 AM
 
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"Too attached?" Yuck. Ick. Gag. Feh.

Mine are like that too. They are in school. School didn't change them. They are eager to reunite at the end of the day. They hate to go to bed because they have so much to talk about.

Just like infant feeding and diapering and other parenting choices, methinks she just doesn't like what you are doing (or maybe feels guilty that she didn't do it?) and is trying to find a way to insult you so that she will feel more comfortable. Some people are very uncomfortable with loving, happy families.

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#7 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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it will be great to able to turn to each other for help. A built- in best friend with whom to discuss the world. Someone you knows you well and shares the same past. Someone who *loves* you.

My recommendation is that you should ignore anyone who would be bothered by this wonderful relationship. I would say "They are twins!" or "They are like twins! It's wonderful" Say this in a confident way- a way so firm that the person fears going against you. Then ignore them.

I second the book Hold On To Your Kids. I think it will put your mind at ease.
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#8 of 23 Old 09-03-2005, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your thoughts. They mirror my own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice
Some people are very uncomfortable with loving, happy families.
This describes my mom pretty well She has been saying the "overly attached" thing for a while, since DD was 3 or so. I would point out how much she loved her brother and my mom would say, "Well maybe they should spend some time apart." Huh? I don't understand.
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#9 of 23 Old 09-04-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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I hope that my kids become "Overly attached". I am one of 3 children, and none of us has spoken to another in years.

A lot of ppl believe that broken bonds are part of growing up. Children are supposed to be miserable when they start school. It's part of the deal. Mothers are supposed to cry when they go back to work. Teens are supposed to hate their parents. Siblings are supposed to be rivals. It's the way is.

I don't really believe in the whole overly attached thing. Dh says that Ben is too attached to me because he has this fear that someday I won't be there and he will be left with a heartbroken, inconsolable child. I wonder how much of our society's fear of attachment is intended to prevent the pain of premature separation. I don't miss my brothers because i never loved them in the first place. Isn't that nice and easy?
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#10 of 23 Old 09-04-2005, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchier
I hope that my kids become "Overly attached". I am one of 3 children, and none of us has spoken to another in years.

A lot of ppl believe that broken bonds are part of growing up. Children are supposed to be miserable when they start school. It's part of the deal. Mothers are supposed to cry when they go back to work. Teens are supposed to hate their parents. Siblings are supposed to be rivals. It's the way is.

I don't really believe in the whole overly attached thing. Dh says that Ben is too attached to me because he has this fear that someday I won't be there and he will be left with a heartbroken, inconsolable child. I wonder how much of our society's fear of attachment is intended to prevent the pain of premature separation. I don't miss my brothers because i never loved them in the first place. Isn't that nice and easy?
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#11 of 23 Old 09-04-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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would your mom have the same issues if they were the same gender? I doubt it.

It is my hope that my children will be each others best friends.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#12 of 23 Old 09-04-2005, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchier
I wonder how much of our society's fear of attachment is intended to prevent the pain of premature separation. I don't miss my brothers because i never loved them in the first place. Isn't that nice and easy?

What a wise insight! I never thought of it that way.

As far as the gender... I bet that has something to do with it, but I'm not sure what exactly. My mom was very offended that DD wears DS's hand me down underwear.
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#13 of 23 Old 09-04-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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Maybe it is the beer I am drinking but all of these posts are just getting me SO excited to homeschool!!!

I have a dd 3 (tomorrow!!) and a 15 month old. They are just starting to chase eachother around the house and laugh a lot together and I just love it. I can't wait for mine to be overly attached!!

And as a side note, I recently did a trade here on mdc and am getting some cool tie dyed undies in the mail for dd... and she will pass them on to ds.

Ingrid
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#14 of 23 Old 09-05-2005, 09:25 AM
 
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My son will ONLY wear my dd's underwear (they wear the same size clothing). He refuses to wear his own.

Namaste!
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#15 of 23 Old 09-05-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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My 'twins' attended school together until we decided to hs.
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#16 of 23 Old 09-06-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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My boy and girl are 4.5 and 2.5. I am also expecting another baby who will be 3 years younger than my daughter (same age spacing as yours!). They are really, really close. They do fight but it never lasts long and they always want to be together. Elijah is very protective of his sister, even against his father and I. If we are telling Olivia off he will say, "Don't be mean to my sister!!!" They will be sharing a room come November because of the new baby and they are both really looking forward to it! I am just worried they'll never sleep because they'll be playing so much. This attachment is one of the reasons I DON'T want to put DS is school. It breaks my heart to think of the day they would both be in 5 days a week. When would they ever see each other? When would we be a family? I can't even imagine it!

Just a side note - I think your DD might view it as her being pushed out if you put her in school and not her brother. I personally think school is a damaging place for kids. Maybe it would be best to try and work with the girls to get along better or have them have separate activities instead of sending DD to school.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#17 of 23 Old 09-06-2005, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
A lot of ppl believe that broken bonds are part of growing up. Children are supposed to be miserable when they start school. It's part of the deal. Mothers are supposed to cry when they go back to work. Teens are supposed to hate their parents. Siblings are supposed to be rivals. It's the way is.
Sorry, I'm just snooping through various interesting threads, but this jumped out at me. It's sad but true for many people.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#18 of 23 Old 10-13-2005, 08:19 PM
 
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My 8 y/o DD and 5 y/o DS are BEST BEST friends, and they love their 2 y/o brother, too!

they sleep in the same bedroom, play all day, help each other, protect each other, support each other, share clothes, eschew almost ALL gender stereotypes.........


And my Mom has a BIG problem with this. I KNOW it is some gender B.S., and if they were sisters, especially, since our society is so sick about any boys having any emotions, it would be "So cute".


It is a wonderful part of homeschooling, and I hope they are this way forever. I feel strongly that if they were apart all day, exposed to wierd ideas about "little kids suck" and "boys/girls are yucky" then this wouldnt be possible to progress unhindered.

We are proud of how happy and loving they are, and good luck to your kids as well!
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#19 of 23 Old 10-13-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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mine are too young (3 y 4m and 9 m) to really play together, but of course i hope they will be very attached.

maybe this is a topic for another thread, but it is not HS related, so maybe i will fit it in here :LOL since we are talking about it anyway.

i am an only child. dh and his brother are very attached (2.5 years apart). to me, with no experience of a sibling, their attachment seems really weird, if not abnormal. but they tell me i don't get it, because i do not have a sibling.

a somewhat silly example -- when we were just married (11 years ago) and i was somewhat naive, i asked him who would he save first, me or his brother. i know, i know, this is something to never ask :LOL , but of course i expected him to say he would save me. but he said that he slept with me for only several months, but with his brother he slept for 15 years (he meant in the same bed, and later in the same room), so he would try to save his brother first. ugh. not romantic.

another example. his brother picked me up from a cottage (we had no phone there), and the way he unexpectedly came (i was expecting dh) and would not answer what happened, made me think for a long minute that something terribly wrong happend to dh. so i was later venting to dh that i thought he was in a bad accident and his brother would just stare at me and not say anything. well, i expected dh to feel sorry for me, doh! instead he was mad at me for not understanding that his brother drove for 4 hours to pick me up, and not appreciating his help at the situation when dh could not pick me up.

so yes, they are super attached. but i would not want my kids to be attached that way, though i do want them to be very attached. does this make sense?

so how do you make sure their attachment does not lead to something unhealthy? or i have to adjust my attitude re what constitutes 'unhealthy'? am i truly misunderstanding dh and his brother because i have no siblings?
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#20 of 23 Old 10-13-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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My dd age 8 and ds age 4 are very very close. They are each others primary playmates, I wouldn't want it any other way.
I'm pretty sure if we didn't homeschool they wouldn't be as close because of the age gap. The relationship they have warms my soul, it is so beautiful to watch.
I would ignore your mother on this one.

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#21 of 23 Old 10-13-2005, 10:34 PM
 
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When we were young my brother and I were very, very close. He is two years younger than I. We always played together and shared a room for years. All of my happiest memories of childhood have my little brother involved. We attended public school and managed to be very close friends through my early elementary years. By the time he was in first grade we were drifting apart. We were so busy with school activities (and tons of homework for me!!!) that we didn't have time to hang out like we had before. I would have been in 4th grade I guess. He started school "late", turning 6 years old early in October. We stayed closer than most of the siblings we know, but I miss my brother so much now that he lives so far away (I'm in NY, he is in Las Vegas). I don't think there is anything abnormal about very attached siblings. I hope your kiddos stay close throughout their lives and don't drift like my brother and me. Based on my experience, I would guess that your children will begin to drift apart if you do decide to place your DD in school. It may not happen right away but, considering the extreme demands schools place on childrens' time, it likely will happen eventually. I say keep her home and nurture the special bond they share.

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#22 of 23 Old 10-14-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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"Too attached?" Yuck. Ick. Gag. Feh.


LMAO!!!!!

I hope my homeschooled, co-sleeping, playing all the time together kids are overly attached! Better than my sister's fighting kicking pushing yelling never spend any time together boys - breaks my heart.
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#23 of 23 Old 10-16-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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annabanana, I do not think your husband and his brother are too attached. It sounds like they have a close, healthy relationship to me. If I had to choose between my sisters and my husband for some reason, my sisters would win. And I would NEVER give DH an ultimatum that he choose between me and his brother, even though his brother and I do NOT like each other. Especially after I made him suffer through living with the least stable of my sisters for 9 months while I was in Japan (long story, he lasted until she repeatedly let her ex into our place, the 2nd time after DH had called the cops on him because he was a military deserter).

Anyway, I think the mentality in our culture that no relationship should in any wise supercede a marriage is screwy and unhealthy, especially given the divorce rate. I only wish I could live closer to my family.

breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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