Do you expect your older children to include younger siblings when friends visit? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-21-2002, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds#1 will have a friend over and the two of them will go play in his room with the door shut. Ds#2 will knock on the door, ask nicely to come in too, and the big kids will yell "No." Ds#2 wanders around the house with his head hanging, looking forlorne, big tears threatening to leak out the edges of his eyes. It is just awful. So, I'll try to talk to the "big kids" and let them know how sad and left out the little guy feels. And they will say "We can't play the way we like to play with a little kid in the room!"

And they are perfectly right. I know as well as they do that sometimes little kids just get in the way of a good time.

OTOH -- it is not okay to leave people out! Even when they hamper a good time, I try to include the people around me at social events. I want to teach my ds to be inclusive, and play generously with kids of all ages.

I just don't know what the right solution is.

Have any of you dealth with this? I remember being a kid (the oldest of 4) and hating that my brothers always wanted in on whatever I was doing. But I also remember having a decent time once I finally surrendered to having them involved.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2002, 08:12 PM
 
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we have had some experience with this

ds1 is 11 and his best friend just loves ds2 who is 5. Best friend has a swag of older step-siblings in several families and really enjoys being with a younger "brother". Ds1 is OK about it most of the time, happily includes ds2 but sometimes the big guys shut the bedroom door for Big Kid Business and ds2 is always heartbroken. But he has in the past gotten in the way if they want to e.g. paint models.

so I make sure some all-in play happens then if the older guys want some privacy I'll break out a special activity for ds2 or get him to come and help me in the kitchen or garden or just sit and have a hug, it usually works out OK.

also the older guys are learning that if they don't take a high-handed attitude with ds2 he is so grateful to be included that he will sit quiet as a mouse - though this wasn't the case a couple of years ago


we had an interesting problem in a similar vein a few years ago when a friend of ds1's was not allowed to visit unless the invitation was also extended to friend's 3 sibs!!! I thought it was mostly an attempt (pretty effective) to keep the boy from visiting anywhere outside the home
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Old 11-21-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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Forunately most of dds friends have a younger sibling that I beg for the parents to bring over. Or her friends love her younger sister and are good about including her.

Also it depends on the sttitude with which they kick dd out. If they are mean about it they must include dd. If they arenice I ask why dd can't play and will either give her a treat (movie, ice cream - It does after all suck to be left out) or find a way for them to include her. If it is good plan they will usually go for it.

It also depends on the friend. Tori is here every day and is expected to act like family and therefore not leave dd out. If they want ot play alone they can go over to her house. If it was a special friend then I would make arrangements for the older kids to play uninterupted.

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Old 12-01-2002, 03:19 AM
 
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My kids are only 19 months apart, so they play pretty much the same way. DD#2 must be included. I can really see how this is a whole different issue with kids that are 4 years apart!!!!

Could you arrange for DS#2 to have a friend over at the same time? Or do something really cool like make playdough with him -- may be making a big deal about how great it is to have time just with him would help him not feel bad about being left out.
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Old 12-01-2002, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.

Lilyka -- I think what you said about it depending on the friend is what I needed to hear. There is one neighbor child in particular who visits a lot, and both my kids really love her. She is like family in a lot of ways, and I think maybe it is reasonable for me to expect them to include the little guy, unless they are doing something he really can't do (like little legos.) But for the most part they play "pretend" or draw pictures.

If, OTOH -- ds invited a friend home from school, I might consider that more "special" and try to keep little guy busy elsewhere.

Sometimes I do take the neighbor child's little brother at the same time, but having 2 two year olds in the house at the same time requires som psyching up on my part!

It is weird, but when my oldest visits my neighbor's house, her mother lets them lock her bedroom door to keep the little kids out. I feel *very* uncomfortable with my ds being locked into a bedroom, even with a friend. AND I think 6 year olds still need to be checked on frequently, and that is hard to do if they lock the door!!
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Old 12-03-2002, 02:18 PM
 
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Wow! I can't believe someone would let thier 6 year old have a lock on the door. We don't evenlet our children lock the bedroom door.

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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