Handling things that aren't fair between children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 6 yo and a 5 yo. My 6 yo has the endurance of a 21yo. My 5 yo has the endurance of well, a 5 year old.

My kids love to go for walks with me. The problem is that within minutes, my 5 yo starts whining, wants the stroller, wants me to carry her etc.... I really hate going for walks with my 5 yo.

My 6 yo on the other hand can walk all day and all night. She's a blast to walk with.

I walk 3 miles in the mornings and my 6 yo loves to go with me. This makes it very hard on my 5 yo because I don't let her go. I can't. I can't carry her. I don't even have a stroller anymore to push her.

I try to appease her by going for another walk with her in the evenings - just a quick one but still, she cries and cries when I go for my morning walk because I don't let her go with me but I do let the 6 yo at times.

I know it's not fair but, everything isn't always fair. But, it breaks my heart that she's crying because I won't let her walk with me.

I wish there was a time when I could walk when she was at school but, they go to school from 11 - 4 and really, walking at 7am is my only opportunity.

So, what would you do?
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#2 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Explain the difference between "fair" and "equal". What you are doing is "fair" because you are honoring each child's abilities, but not "equal" because their abilities aren't equal.
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#3 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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i just want to say i applaud you for taking your 6 y o rather than what might be easier for some, which is not taking either because 5 yo cant keep up.

i grew up with a sibling with some mild disabilities (both physical and mental) and because of that, "nobody" was allowed to do the things she couldnt, which really put a wrench in my development, confidence, sense of entitlement, etc.

i think youre lucky here because everyone can understand age related priviledges and advantages. you start school at five, not four (or whatever) you learn to drive at 15, not 13. your 6 year old is just more able to do more than a five year old. thats the perennial suffering of the youngest - but its life and it is in fact fair.

i think it was harder in my family because my sibling was older.
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#4 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your thoughts!

I ended up walking 3 miles with my oldest and then coming home and taking my youngest for a 1 mile walk. It's not always feasable to do that though - especially on school days.

Youngest did whine most of the walk and I had to pull her along behind me. She was miserable most of the time so it was a good tangible example of what I'm trying to tell her.
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#5 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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- Buy an inexpensive second hand stroller so your 5 year old can go too. If I could get a cheap stroller and make her happy, I would.

- Find something special your 5 year old can do with daddy or somebody else while you are out with your 6 year old. That way she is doing something special too, not just being left behind because she is too young/small/slow. Our youngest often gets to watch TV when our older DD gets to go somewhere she can't go.

- Get up early, and go for the walk while the younger child is still asleep. Our girls are three and four. Younger DD respects that some things she is just too little for, but because she and her sister are so close it can be really hard when one gets to do something and the other one can't. One thing we have going right now is that DD 2 gets up early and DD 1 stays up late... and some special things for each child happen in that window when the other one is asleep.

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#6 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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It is really hard, right now everything that my 6 yo is doing, the 3.5 (almost 4) can't.

We try to take turns, if the 6 yo is going off to his activities and the younger one can't we try to find something the younger one can do.

The example for us that is very similar to yours is the grocery shopping! 6 yo ds can go, he's a big help. But the 3 yo.. NO WAY, so I usually tell the younger one that when we get home he can have a turn to go somewhere (even if its just the corner store for milk!)

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#7 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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I think what you're doing is fine, but if you wanted to try to include the 5yo could you have the start of your walk be a loop that goes back past your house so that she could come with you for a bit but then be dropped off when she gets tired and you and the 6yo could continue?

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#8 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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the 5yo is old enough to understand that if she wants to go for the walk she walks. If she is going to complain then she gets left home & she doesn't get to complain that she isn't on the walk too. Then she gets to choose she either walks without complaining or she doesn't & doesn't complain at the house.

3miles isn't too far for a 5yo to walk & the more she walks it the easier it'll get for her.
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#9 of 19 Old 09-21-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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Could you do your walks with the 6yo and then do something else that the 5yo enjoys with just her? She probably wants the time with mommy but just hates walking so she complains.

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#10 of 19 Old 09-22-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I think what you're doing is fine, but if you wanted to try to include the 5yo could you have the start of your walk be a loop that goes back past your house so that she could come with you for a bit but then be dropped off when she gets tired and you and the 6yo could continue?
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Could you do your walks with the 6yo and then do something else that the 5yo enjoys with just her? She probably wants the time with mommy but just hates walking so she complains.
This is what I was wondering. I don't think the 5yo needs something special at the same time you guys walk, but she does need her own special time alone with you each day while your 6yo does something else.
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#11 of 19 Old 09-22-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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I think what you're doing is fair. Equal no, fair yes. The child who can/likes to walk gets to walk with you. What does the 5 year old like to do with you? As long as you're spending time doing something with her that she can do/likes to do, I see no problem with it being different and separate.
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#12 of 19 Old 09-22-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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Can the 6 year push the 5 year old? That might slow down the oldest enough to let all of you enjoy it.

Or, I might wait and take the 6 year old out myself on weekends when the 5 year old could have special daddy time and not feel left out.
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#13 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
the 5yo is old enough to understand that if she wants to go for the walk she walks. If she is going to complain then she gets left home & she doesn't get to complain that she isn't on the walk too. Then she gets to choose she either walks without complaining or she doesn't & doesn't complain at the house.

3miles isn't too far for a 5yo to walk & the more she walks it the easier it'll get for her.
I agree with this. I definetly would not be running out to buy a stroller for a 5 year old; used or otherwise.
As long as she gets her mommy time, too then it is fair.

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#14 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys for your thoughts!

Yeah, I agree - no way am I buying a stroller for a 5 year old simply because she chooses not to walk on her own. I did talk to her after our mile walk the other day in which she whined the whole time. I tried to get her to see that is why she doesn't get to go on walks but then she promises she won't whine, I try to take her and 5 minutes into it, the whining starts again.....

We definitely have our special time together. My oldest is in gymnastics 4 hours a week so youngest and I spend that time together - just the two of us - we go to target and I let her try on the shoes, we go to the book store and read stories etc.... so she does get a lot of mommy time when it's just the two of us. But, the walk thing is just so hard for her - it's such an "in your face" thing to take one and not the other. Sigh......
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#15 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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I tried to get her to see that is why she doesn't get to go on walks but then she promises she won't whine, I try to take her and 5 minutes into it, the whining starts again.....
Once she starts whining turn around & take her home, then go for your walk alone. Let dh deal with the whining.lol
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#16 of 19 Old 09-23-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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But, the walk thing is just so hard for her - it's such an "in your face" thing to take one and not the other. Sigh......
i really dont think that the in your face thing is really that harsh. it happens all the time in life situations that one gets to go and the others stay home. bday parties, play dates and later who can say what one will be invited to and not the other. that is how life is. you dont always get to go and it isnt really about fairness. especially if you already have special time with your dd when her sister is in other activies. i think that your 5yo is playing on your mother guilt :
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Once she starts whining turn around & take her home, then go for your walk alone. Let dh deal with the whining.lol
i couldnt agree more.

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#17 of 19 Old 09-25-2008, 07:36 AM
 
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- Buy an inexpensive second hand stroller so your 5 year old can go too. If I could get a cheap stroller and make her happy, I would.

- Find something special your 5 year old can do with daddy or somebody else while you are out with your 6 year old. That way she is doing something special too, not just being left behind because she is too young/small/slow. Our youngest often gets to watch TV when our older DD gets to go somewhere she can't go.

- Get up early, and go for the walk while the younger child is still asleep. Our girls are three and four.
I agree with all of these suggestions.

This is just one area of your life that you need to do what you need to do. You can make up some time with your 5 yr old at another time of day, right? No two kids are totally alike and there's nothing wrong with taking the 6 yr old on walks with you alone if they are better at it. The younger one obviously isn't good at that type of thing nor does she want to do it.

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#18 of 19 Old 09-25-2008, 07:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by amcal
But, the walk thing is just so hard for her - it's such an "in your face" thing to take one and not the other. Sigh......
I don't agree. You will see as your children get older that they will not always be able to do the same things at the same time. It will be much harder for your younger child once the older child is getting invited to parties that she isn't invited to and her older sibling is making friends that she will not be friends with at the same time, stuff like that. You will always be there for the child that is left out of things over the years. This is good practice for that. Not all of your kids will always be able to do the same things. It's just not possible. I've seen it with my own kids.

There's no way my 6 yr old can always keep up with her older siblings, especially her 13 yr old brother, she tries sometimes but can't always do it and has learned to understand that over the last few years. Sure she gets upset at times when her older sibs get to do something that she does not but I make it up to her by doing something I know she can handle at her age and level of ability.

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#19 of 19 Old 09-25-2008, 07:49 AM
 
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Just a thought - but we're in a similar situation other than the age gap is a bit different - dd is a great walker always has been and could go on for hours, ds is not, but he likes to use his scooter and that works for us, so dd walks and ds scoots (I'm not sure if you call them scooters in the US) JFYI dd is 6 and ds 3 - anyway that's what works for us.

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