Families are a beautiful dynamic and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
Whether your family is big, small or blended, it’s not uncommon for some families to have a large age gap between siblings, which brings its own set of unique challenges.
Sometimes the age gap is barely noticeable, but when differences in kids’ abilities, attention spans and interests collide it can cause problems for siblings and parents alike.
Having children is a big adventure, and there are a few things you can do to manage any age gap related bumps your family comes across along the way.
Find activities everyone will enjoy
Large age gaps between siblings can make recreational time and family days out a huge challenge.
While your little one might love going to the playground or watching Bluey, your 13-year-old would probably rather hang out with their friends or play video games instead.
Finding activities that appeal to a range of age groups is a great way to let the whole family bond while having a good time.
Visiting a museum, spending a day at the beach and going on a picnic are just some of the things kids of all ages and adults alike can enjoy together.
Schedule in one on one time
Quality time with each child is incredibly important no matter their age.
Not only does this give you a chance to bond but it also makes your child feel loved, heard and special.
This is especially true for older kids as they can sometimes feel overshadowed by their younger siblings who might need a bit more care and attention, depending on their age.
Whether it’s half an hour a day, a couple hours once a week or a whole day once a month, spending dedicated time with each child one on one is a great way to strengthen your relationship and get to know more about them and their interests.
Get creative with the rules
Bedtime, chores, screen time- the rules you have for your youngest and eldest child are likely very different.
Compromising is essential when it comes to certain kinds of rules, especially around tricky topics like technology. For example, if your eldest is old enough for their own smartphone and your youngest wants one too, you might not be so keen for them to have access to everything your teenager does.
The Spacetalk Adventurer smart watch is a great compromise as it has all the functions of a regular phone without the added worry of social media or open internet access, making it the perfect choice for younger kids.
This means your youngest can be just like their big brother or sister without feeling left out or being exposed to the less desirable aspects of a smartphone.
Let kids be kids
Hands up if you were the eldest sibling and hated being responsible for your little brother or sister?
Kids should definitely help around the house where it is age appropriate to do so, however leaning on the older kids too much can create feelings of anger, frustration and resentment towards their younger sibling.
Finding a healthy balance between letting kids be kids and getting them to help with their sibling is key. This means kids will build independence through responsibility as well as have fun and let loose.
Having an age gap between children can be a wonderful experience. Watching them teach each other things and laughing when the youngest tries to be like their big brother or sister are some of those parenting moments that stick with us and make us smile.
By keeping a few things in mind, kids of any age can bond and share happy memories together for many years to come.