Sibling Friendships: Does Age Difference Make a Difference?

IMG_7173When I became pregnant with my second child, my daughter was already 4 ½ years old. The first thing I heard from others was, “Aren’t you worried that they will be too far apart to be close? Isn’t it easier to have them closer together so they grow up together?”

Having been the youngest of two in my own family with a sister 13 years older than me, the thought of a 5 ½ year difference seemed like nothing. In fact, my husband and I had always agreed that we really didn’t want our children back to back. Although we knew many couples who had multiple children under the age of 5, we both were very well aware of our own limitations and knew that we were not one of the couples who could successfully do that. I was happy with the way we planned our family … but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how their sibling relationship would progress.

Let me see my sister!Texas Roadhouse

Fast forward 5 years, and here we are with a ten year old and a 5 year old that couldn’t be any closer! It has been absolutely amazing to watch their friendship develop. Even from the day our youngest was born, her older sister couldn’t wait to see her! The second she was brought to the hospital nursery, big sis would push other family members aside saying, “Let me see my sister!” She was the first person to hold her and to this day, she will still say that she “just can’t get enough of her kisses.” Little sis is the same way! She looks up to her big sister with the sweetest looks of admiration. She wants to do the things she does and be just like her. In fact, just this weekend, she was so proud to walk around in her new Volatile shoes because they were “just like Sissy’s!”

Although I’m not sure what specific things led to their closeness, I do have a few theories. One is that we don’t get involved in their day to day disagreements. When they start tattling on each other or we hear them arguing, we stay out of it. We tell them to go figure it out together. Go talk to each other about it. Another thing we do is allow them to spend time together. They have been known to have “sister slumber parties” where they sleep in the living room watching TV together all night. My husband and I have even more fun on those nights as we listen to their sweet conversations! We sometimes even overhear their mischievous plans as to how they will trick us! Finally, we let them each be their own individual person. They each have their own likes and dislikes, and they are definitely not all the same or all different. But … they are each their own.

It’s Not What We Do, It’s What They Do

Are these actually the things that led them to be so close? I don’t really know for sure, but I know they didn’t hurt. I am constantly receiving comments from others about how close my girls seem, how well IMG_7167they get along, and how their relationship seems so genuine. To keep that relationship going, all I can do it keep doing what I’ve been doing and leave the rest up to them. After all, they have established their relationship on their own. All I can do as a parent is continue to encourage it, allow opportunities to let it grow and ultimately, pray that it is always as strong (or even stronger) as it is today.

How close are your children to each other? What are some things that you do to foster a positive relationship between your children? How close are you to your siblings? How is your relationship with your siblings different now than it was as a child?

Lindsay
Lindsay is a native New Orleanian, displaced only by her years at Mississippi State, where she earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries and a minor in English. She came home shortly after Katrina, to work as a zookeeper and be a part of the rebuilding of her beloved city. She dragged her husband Drake, a Tennessee native, along with her. Their son Bennett joined the family in 2010, and in 2014 they welcomed identical twin girls, Genevieve and Kellen Clair. She now works full time as an Environmental Scientist and part-time as NOM’s resident Jill of All Trades. Powered by espresso, cake, and craft beer, her happy place is on a beach or in the woods. Need to identify a plant, tree, or animal? Lindsay’s a wealth of random knowledge. She loves to cook and sprinkle a little glitter on everything.

1 COMMENT

  1. I have 3 girls. One is 6 one is 16 months and an 8 week old.so I have both ends of the stick I have my 1 year old who has a 5 year gap with her sister and then she has a 14 month gap with the new born. Im very interested to see how the relationship grows between the three. My 6 year old has been gone to her dads all summer and my husband and I are enjoying the 3 of them together but it’s busy since u just went back to work. My sister and I were 3 days shy of being a year apart, same age for 3 days and my sister’s birthday is the day after Christmas! We are close now but Boy did we bicker as teens

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