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Does the gap in age between your kids matter when it comes to sibling rivalry?

  1. katdiaz2011 profile image60
    katdiaz2011posted 6 years ago

    Does the gap in age between your kids matter when it comes to sibling rivalry?

    Is it better to have them closer in age or not?

  2. lburmaster profile image82
    lburmasterposted 6 years ago

    Sometimes age does matter. You seem to have a few questions about your children. Try reading a book about Child Birth Order. The order children are born into a family reflects in their personality. The oldest child has a few qualities that are inflicted upon him that the others don't have. Then the middle has the same thing, as with the youngest. Because of their roles in the family they add on certain qualities to become better with their roles. It's interesting.

  3. profile image72
    win-winresourcesposted 6 years ago

    Good Morning Katdiaz-

    In the animal kingdom (yes, we are all animals) there is an instinct to be dominant in order to perpetuate the species with the strongest genes.  As humans we interfere with the normal sequence of events by intervening in the establishment of the pecking order to protect a younger or smaller child from an older, stronger child.  We, obviously, use our adult size, intelligence and otherwise to accomplish this.  This "artificial" intervention is not abnormal, wrong, or necessairly deleterious to the development of either the older or younger child.  It's just the way our species acts normally.

    This does not mean that the children will not attempt to exercise their innate needs to establish dominance.  Indeed, they should.  It's all part of their growth where they hone the skills necessary to cope with their environment. 

    That said, as the age range between children grows, the things they have in common decrease as do the opportunities to be together.  A 12 year old child will have little in common with a 2 year old, other than perhaps to babysit.  In that case they are the authority figure and not in competition.

    So, to try to address your question directly:  Since there is nothing bad or wrong about children trying to do what their genes direct, the question evolves to other issues.  Your (the adult) emotional situation, your financial position, your living situation, your career situation - you get the idea.  Since it is your ultimate responsibility to provide the best care you can to your children (regardless of age), you are best off planning your family with these practical issues firmly in mind.

    As an aside, there is exactly 5 years between my two (now grown).  The younger always perceived a competition while the older had no such feelings.  Prespective is really something isn't it?

    Oh, my mother always said that you don't want two children in diapers at the same time.

    Hope this helps.


  4. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 6 years ago

    I don't think so.  I've know families where there 1 year, 2 years, 3 and 4 years and still it exists.  I think it is not about age but the fact that the most important people on earth to the child (mother and father) now have someone else taking love and time away from them - or so they perceive.

  5. Lisas-thoughts101 profile image61
    Lisas-thoughts101posted 6 years ago

    I guess answering this question is going to be a matter of personal experience.  I have cousins that were two years apart and brothers that were 16 months apart and in both cases the sibling rivalry was awful.  My brothers were 5 and 6 years older than me and my children were 8 years apart and sibling rivalry was almost non-existent in both those scenarios.  I can't help but believe the closer in age the worse it will be because the oldest one didn't get very much one on one time and is forced to be the "big" kid before he/she is actually a big kid.  Sometimes when they are older they have a more parental feeling about the younger child that establishes a more loving bond, in my opinion "for what it is worth."