Hillary Chybinski: parenting. . .managing the age gap

Thursday, November 03, 2011

parenting. . .managing the age gap

my boys are learning to play chess. . .

i love that. . .

except that one of them is 11 and one of them is 5. . .

are you the parent of more than one child?  if you are, you know they don't always get along and that's to be expected.  but do any of you have an age gap bigger than 2 years? or a gender gap - meaning one boy and one girl?

how do you manage these gaps?

i have 2 boys - with very similar interests . . .my challenge is that they are 6 years apart.  I thought sibling squabbles wouldn't be an issue. . .boy was I wrong.

the 11 year old wants to win and play by the rules . . .all the time.  the 5 year old wants to win too and have fun.  can you hear the bickering?

from the 11 year old, I hear "no", "stop", "you can't. . .", "don't", "I win"

from the 5 year old I hear whining, crying and lots of "not fair!"

I've tried appealing to the 11 year old's sense of pride in his skills and knowledge and encourage him to "coach" his little brother rather than playing a competitive game - work on skills.

that last about 10 minutes if I'm lucky.

I've explained the, "but you are 11 - of COURSE you are better and everyone expects you to win" argument . . .that works for about 5 minutes.

they are such good boys - with good hearts and they love each other very much.  this is probably my biggest parenting challenge right now and it's driving me to distraction.

what are some of your tricks of the trade for managing the age gap?

catch you soon -

1 comment:

  1. My sister and I are 4 years apart. I remember there being a lot of difficult years between us. I seemed to always annoy her with my young age & I hated that she seemed too cool for me. There were times we got along great which tended to be when we were playing with barbies or a game that didn't take much skill like UNO. But then when it came to me needing to be "smart" to play a game with her she grew agitated quickly and I hated that she seemed to hate me so much. But now...closer than ever!! I think part of it just comes with the age difference and there isn't a lot you can do about it.

    Try to encourage them with activities you know they can do well together & try to teach your older son patience in more difficult situations like I imagine checkers would be. I would imagine something like building a fort together, playing legos, building a track for race cars, etc. would be common task that they could do together that would lead to less frustration that is unless your 5 year old still enjoys that destruction phase! :)