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How to deal with Children Close in Age

Updated on March 10, 2013

Close is Age and Close in Life

Not twins, but definitely trouble
Not twins, but definitely trouble | Source

No, They are not twins - Close in Age Kids

I am frequently asked when out and about if my two boys are twins. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they are close in age and the oldest is small for his age. The youngest is extremely tall for his age. My kids are 21 months apart and the same size. They can trade clothes if they weren't built so differently. My youngest takes after my tall and lean husband. My oldest unfortunately is short and somewhat stout like his mother.

So I have two kids with similar size that allow them to do similar activities. We are approaching spring soccer season and my kids are the magically age were for the one and only time they will play together in the same division and team.

Seperate Them

If you can give them separate spaces. We have struggled with this as well as many of our friends. You have kids close in age and it would make sense to have them share a room. If you can let them have their own space, let them choose how it should look and let them be creative in the space. My oldest choose the theme for his bedroom and when he was 4 he drew a map of how he wanted thing laid out, allow all his ideas wouldn't work we were able to talk through them and find a solution. There would have been a lot less choices and decisions had his brother been sharing a room.

Give Children Their Own Interests

My kids are both in soccer, this season will be their one and only season they can play together due to age cut offs. I am excited for the season to start but also relived that this will be the only one. My kids are polar opposites athletically. One has the drive and none of the talent, he will be an average player who puts his heart and soul into it but may not even make the high school team when the time comes. My youngest could care less and has pure talent and ability. He will easily make the high school team but will be the player that drives the coaches bananas because he won't have the heart or dedication to a sport that loves him.

My kids are unique as all kids are so it is my job as their mom to get them involved in activities that meet their needs. My oldest loves art while my youngest thinks Olympic diving is the best thing in the world. Still haven't found a pool willing to take 3 years in diving classes, but he dives at the local pool in the meantime.

Give Them One on One Time

Each child needs some special time to spend with each parent, this is especially true for children that are close in age. It is important that each child feel like they are special and have the attention of the parent.

They can Share, but ...

My youngest child asked for one thing this Christmas, a toy that just belonged to him. Wow, I was stunned and didn't know what to say. He had no clue what it was that he actually wanted but he wanted it to be something that was just his and he could tell his older brother not to play with. My oldest had just gotten into Legos and we didn't feel the little one had stopped putting stuff in his mouth long enough to play with them. So this stemmed from that issue. So for Christmas we made sure the youngest got a toy he could call his own.

Dealing with Each Other

They may love being with each other because they will always be each others best friend. My boys learn to share, get along, and play nicely with each other first. If they can't do this together I don't trust them to do this with other kid. Protect your brother he is the only one you have, but be the first to tell the truth if he did something wrong. i get a lot of information about misbehavior from the other, but sometime it is also hard to tell which child is telling the truth. Allow the kids to get along and work thing out on their own. This sometimes means I allow them to duke it out for a bit and then hug and make up. My kids are getting better are working things out and not running with me to tattle every moment.

Treat Them as Individuals

Make sure they know they are individuals and that they are loved for who they are. My kids often get grouped together by family and friends. They have some similar interests but in most ways are very different. They are happiest when we support them in their uniqueness and talk to them this way.


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    • kthix10 profile image

      kthix10 4 years ago from IL

      My kids are extremely different too, but because they are close they have a lot of the same friends and some interests. It will be interesting to what happens as they grow up.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      My daughters were four years apart and as different as night and day. I wish that I would have had them closer together and maybe they would be closer today - they rarely talk to one another except at holidays. Both of my girls are great young women - but oh, so different!

    • kthix10 profile image

      kthix10 4 years ago from IL

      Thanks, I can always count on you for a good review :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spoken by one who knows, which is the most reliable information. I only had one son so I avoided any complications. :) Great suggestions my friend.