When it comes to sibling rivalry, does the age difference matter?


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Denikka - posted on 05/19/2014




I don't think it's so much age as the individual.
Some 17 year olds would be THRILLED to have a younger sibling. Some couldn't care either way. And some would loath the new baby, for whatever reason. Just like some younger kids would.
Obviously there's a line where the kids are too young to even understand what's going on, like if you have 2 children within a year or two.
My 3 kids are 22 months and 30 months apart. They all adore each other. My siblings are 3 years apart and have fluctuated between utter loathing and not much more than civil tolerance.

It really depends on the kids themselves and the situation surrounding the birth of the new baby. Does mom ignore the older kid for the baby? Is the older kid allowed to be involved in caring for the baby? Is the older kid expected to care for the baby too much/too often (some older kids turn into built in babysitters with no compensation)? Things like that. Each case is so different. But I don't think it really has much to do with age itself.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/19/2014




Because, up until now, your teen has been the 'only'. Now there's a baby. Not only does the baby require a lot of attention, but on the other end of the spectrum, the teen is expected to be more self sufficient (normal...we want them to grow up and move out on their own), but the teen is now seeing that as a sign that you love the baby more.

Simple enough to explain to your teen. The baby is not 'replacing', it is enhancing the family. Teen is old enough to be a big help to both you as parents, and baby as a role model and someone who will be idolized by that little person. Teen needs to understand that you are not abandoning her, but that your time together may need to be adjusted to meet the needs of baby.

Make sure that you have a time set aside each week for alone time with your teen too.

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