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To think my toddlers need time away from each other?

(24 Posts)
Mixedupmind Sat 03-May-14 19:23:48

I have 2 children a year apart.
Both boys but one is extremely active, boisterous at times, loves sports and all things dangerous, hes 3 1/2 and my other is happy trotting around a park, not very daring, enjoys sitting and talking, reading etc, he's 2 1/2.
Neither are at nursery yet, my eldest starts in September a week before he turns 4 and it will be the same with my youngest son next year.
Recently I have been having days with one child whilst my husband does something with the other one, my eldest only had me to himself for his first year which he obviously doesn't remember and my youngest never had.
However, whilst they enjoy this time apart and it allows me to focus on their individual interest etc lots of friends have commented that it's unfair to split them, that they have to learn to share attention and shouldn't be having time apart.
AIBU to think they're wrong?

ModreB Sat 03-May-14 19:38:12

YANBU. DS2 was very poorly as a baby, up until he was about 11yo. DH and I always made time to spend separate time with both of them, especially after DS2 had been in hospital. It made such a difference to both of them. DS2 had normal time, DS1 had normal time, even if the whole family situation wasn't normal.

I suppose my point is, that DS1 didn't have the option to learn to share attention, he had no option as DS2 was so poorly a lot of the time, so we decided that rather than DS1 losing out, we made an extra effort to make sure that they both had equal attention, albeit in different ways and for different reasons.

Busymumto3dc Sat 03-May-14 19:40:13


I have two boys a yr apart now nearly 5&6

They have always needed breaks from one another and this needs grows as they do. Easter hols were awful!

restandpeace Sat 03-May-14 19:43:58

Sounds lovely. What works for you and all that jazz. Why isnt 3 year old at nursery?

redandchecker Sat 03-May-14 19:44:08

Assuming they are together most of the time but often you do things seperately then YANBU. They would be sharing/playing with each other most other times, no? Tell your friends to but out. I think it's equally important for a child to have alone time with their parent as it is for them to learn how to play/grow with their siblings.

restandpeace Sat 03-May-14 19:45:55

I often read on here about friends making unwanted comments, why? Just mind your own beeswax people.

DaffodilsandTruffles Sat 03-May-14 19:50:07

We have twins, when they were little we used to have afternoons where my DH took one somewhere and I took the other somewhere else. The next time we'd swap over. It's important to have some one to one bonding and the children enjoyed it as long as they weren't apart for too long.

Why listen to other people? Do what works for your family.

Mixedupmind Sat 03-May-14 19:51:22


Mixedupmind Sat 03-May-14 19:53:03

3 year old is turning 4 mid september
He's got a place at the school nursery to start September just before his birthday
Didn't want him in a private pre school for a year before then going onto using a school nursery

KnittingRocks Sat 03-May-14 19:53:12

I have two boys 16 mths apart and I don't think we do the separate time stuff often enough. But then they are exceptionally close and love each other's company so I have no incentive to do it! But I do worry they rely on each other too much sometimes and pine when they're apart. We can't win can we?!?

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 03-May-14 19:55:34


Why shouldn't you have time alone with each boy. They are individuals, no matter how close they are in age. How is it unfair unless one child is always taken out for treats and the other never is? They have plenty of time to share attention because presumably they are more together than they are apart and they will do more of that once at nursery and school.

Some people are odd. Do they not treat their children as individuals then? I think that is what I will be asking if they have the gall to say something about this again. Take no notice.

DaffodilsandTruffles Sat 03-May-14 20:20:03

BigBoobiedBertha love your name - we are massive fans and she's a brilliant character.

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 03-May-14 20:53:44

Thank you. smile We have loved the books too. About time for a new one, I think!

chutneypig Sat 03-May-14 20:57:01

YANBU and I'm quite baffled that anyone would think otherwise. No one has ever said anything along those lines to me - I have twins. They really benefit from one on one attention and DH and I enjoy that time too.

JonesRipley Sat 03-May-14 20:57:52

How strange (your friends) They are individuals and should be treated as such.

TeaMakesItAllPossible Sat 03-May-14 21:03:33

YADNBU. IMO you are doing something important. Our 4 DSs are 11m, 2y and 6y apart. Each one gets time with one parent on a regular basis. We have found it helps their self esteem, behaviour and individuality. It's hard to find your own way in life being lumped together with someone who is a bit like you but fundamentally isn't the same. We started this when they were about the same age as your boys and now we try to do an overnight away with each. Taking it in turns. Doing things they want to.

SueDNim Sat 03-May-14 21:04:28

Surely nursery will be an ideal place to learn to share attention. I think it entirely normal to split siblings up at times for various reasons. I think that your friends might respond differently if your children were a girl and a boy as people often see them as having different needs. However you have rightly identified that your boys have different needs and are doing your best as parents. I think that it is a bit out of order to criticise you for that.

AiryFairyHairyAndScary Sat 03-May-14 21:04:53

You must have some weird friends. confused Why would anyone think it odd to split the kids up at times.

I can't imagine you thought you were actually being unreasonable for a second wink

Enjoy your boys smile,

JonesRipley Sat 03-May-14 21:09:34

Do your friends think they don't spend any time together?

And anyway, sibling rivalry can be helped by each child being given individual attention

PrincessBabyCat Sat 03-May-14 21:11:29

Me and my brother go 1:1 time with each parent when we wanted it. Sometimes it's nice to have a parent to yourself without having to share.

Mixedupmind Sat 03-May-14 21:33:40

Thankyou again
The 2 friends who have criticised me also have very small age gaps however they do everything together, no time apart and neither are going to nursery, they are both waiting until next year when the eldest goes to reception they will then start the youngest in nursery so that they both start that journey together.
To me, that would be unfair as my eldest is def ready for it and I think it would be horrible for him to start reception having never been away yet the youngest having a whole year of nursery prior to starting!

BigBoobiedBertha Sat 03-May-14 21:45:27

They are depriving their eldest of nursery school just so they are home with their sibling? I have never heard of that, it is a bit weird if you ask me. They have a small age gap, they aren't twins and shouldn't be treated as such. The elder ones are missing out by not having some time at nursery imo. Why wouldn't you treat your children the same given half the chance - they should all get the chance to go to nursery, not make the elder stay at home for the sake of the younger. At some point they have to start school - it won't be great if all this enforced togetherness means they are both upset or worse, one resents the other because they never get any time away from one another when they were little.

Is it perhaps that the parents are trying to cling on to their 'babies' and trying to keep them home as much as possible, do you think?

Mixedupmind Sat 03-May-14 21:52:46

100% that's what it is
I would love to keep mine at home forever although am aware that's not in their best interests.
Just like keeping my eldest at home until 5 just so his brother could start nursery at 4 at the time time would be either

SueDNim Sat 03-May-14 21:56:06

I think is a bit odd not to use your free nursery place like that. But I wouldn't dream of saying that to someone.

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