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to ask if anyone else has s huge age gap between their kids? I have 9 years between mine and I'm really struggling!

(56 Posts)
Marilynmansonsthermos Sat 06-Apr-19 22:47:49

Anyone else in the same boat? 9 years between dd and ds. Was ok the first couple of years, but now dd has hit puberty and they both seem to actively dislike eachother and have zero in common. Dd 12, ds 3. There are barely any activities for them to do together so struggling with ideas for days out. They both have totally different needs and they both need individual time but I wish we could spend more time together as a family. Feel like I've made a mess of things and wish I had had them closer together sad if anyone else is in a similar situation and has any tips or advice I would appreciate it so much ..

NutMeghan Sat 06-Apr-19 22:52:03

Wouldn't you just do what the oldest one wants/likes and the youngest just goes along. Cinema wouldn't be possible but other activities would be ok wouldn't they?

I don't think you can expect the 12 year old to do typical 3 year old activities like soft play etc

hayf Sat 06-Apr-19 22:54:54

I feel like you have to embrace their differences and not try and treat them as the same. They're vastly different in age, it will reduce over time but your eldest is particularly sensitive to what people think right now and it's normal to be wanting his own friends. If I were you I'd sit down with the older one and talk through what they want and what they feel they can share with the little one

Haworthia Sat 06-Apr-19 22:55:03

There’s 10.5 years between me and my brother, so I know what you mean. Although we never had a typical sibling relationship (it’s kind of impossible with such a big age gap) I do think of it as like both being only children, but with the bonus of actually having a sibling smile Yes, he got on my nerves when I was a teen but we never fought. That’s a bonus - there’s nothing to fight over!

Now we’re adults the dynamic is different but we’re still sort of a generation apart. He’s 28 and I’m 39 this year. But we get on and we love each other.

You haven’t made a mess of things!

MrsBlondie Sat 06-Apr-19 22:55:56

I have 6.5 years between mine. 12 and 6 now. We still do things together. Country parks, cinema, trampoline. Parks. Meet with friends etc.
They get on mostly though TBH.

steff13 Sat 06-Apr-19 22:56:25

Mine are 20, 17, and 8. My older two are boys, and they were (and are) very into video games. We would usually take our daughter somewhere (the park, the zoo, museums, etc.) and they were welcome to come if they wanted. They would choose to go about half the time. We also did geocaching and letterboxing as a family.

Soontobe60 Sat 06-Apr-19 23:02:50

9 years between mine. At 3 and 12 we would do different things such as a zoo trip, wacky warehouse, cinema, bowling. Often, DH would take one and I'd take the other so they did have lots of 1:1 time. If it was a younger outing we would let the eldest bring a friend.
They were less close when the youngest was a teen. Now they are very close as early 20s/30s.
The eldest would help the youngest get ready for bed, read a story, sing silly songs then have a couple of hours with us when her sibling was asleep. She would love getting up early and watching kids tv at the weekend too!

MsAwesomeDragon Sat 06-Apr-19 23:03:14

I've got 10 years between my dds. They're now 19 and 9.

When they were younger I mostly took dd1 to her activities and dd2 came too, but didn't participate. We didn't really do much as a whole family, bar the occasional big day out at a zoo or something. It was often me doing things with dd2 during the day (in school holidays because I work term time) and then leaving her with DH while I did stuff with dd1 in the evenings.

Both of them have had to compromise at times and just get on with the fact that life isn't all about them. There really aren't many things they both want to do as activities (this is getting better now actually, as we can do things like bowling or cinema to see a pg/12a ). That happens with siblings close in age too though. My niece's are only 18 months apart but they are like chalk and cheese, never want to do the same things either.

Tahitiitsamagicalplace Sat 06-Apr-19 23:06:01

There are 9 years between my two and I think it's a perfect age gap! smile Embrace it! Don't make the eldest go to toddler things, and don't drag the toddler to places he'll get bored just to try and appease your dd. There are things you can do with both of them - the zoo, country parks, bike rides, museums, the beach, etc.

I find the toughest part is making sure my eldest gets enough attention. But we have little coffee or cinema dates just us two, which is nice. With such a big age gap, your children don't need to have much in common. They aren't going to have similar interests at all, so don't try and force it. They'll develop their own bond, quite different from "close in age" siblings, but it doesn't mean it's not as special.

EleanorOalike Sat 06-Apr-19 23:09:52

There’s 19 years between me and my oldest brother and 11 between me the youngest brother.

I’m not at all close to either. My big brother really resented me being born and was quite cruel to me despite already being an adult.

I think it’s hard for siblings with such an age gap to be close as they don’t have anything in common age wise. It may get better when they are adults though.

Jjacobb Sat 06-Apr-19 23:13:01

My dc are 31, 18 and 11.
Eldest has left home now but when they were younger we tended to do what suited the older child and younger ones were happy to join in. So dog walks, farm visits, fun fairs, swimming, circus.
Nowadays the youngest loves having sleepovers at her big sisters house.
I worried about them having nothing in common when they were younger but it gets better as they get older.

Taneartagam Sat 06-Apr-19 23:16:12

7 years between mine and yes I remember those years when I couldn't do anything to suit both. We ended up suiting the younger more often and then I would take a day off to take the elder for lunch and a film for being such a great big sister, they are fine now at 10 and 17 but i think 2- 5/ 9-12 were the hardest years.

WYP2018 Sat 06-Apr-19 23:27:07

I have a 9 and 11 year old...and a 2 year old. I’m lucky that the older two love playing with the youngest and in a way it’s given them an excuse to be young for a few more years, eg. they will come along to soft play and end up tearing around the biggest playframes themselves. The youngest does have to get dragged to the older kids’ activities though, that’s just how it is. She spends more time playing on my phone than I’d like.
I find the older kids get on better with the youngest than they do with each other, the rivalry between them is intense and drives me insane at times. So a small age gap can be a pain in the arse too!

PlatypusPie Sat 06-Apr-19 23:28:59

My brother and I were nearly 9 years apart ( him the elder). It was rather like being sequential only children - he seemed like one of the grown ups by the time I was old enough to really consider age. He was lovely to me, very kind and I have never had an argument with him in my life. He taught me to ride a bike on the roads and play tennis. He was very good looking and glamorous in his teens and my friends all had crushes on him. So, not a typical sibling relationship!

But our parents didn’t try to do too many activities with us together, apart from normal family routine and occasions - I can’t see how that would have worked, with our very different interests and stages of life.

The age gap narrowed as we grew older - at one point, when he was going through a marital breakdown, I felt like I was the older sister, giving him advice and perspective. We are great friends and I can talk to him about anything.

keenwasalad Sat 06-Apr-19 23:32:57

DS is an only and is 15. I'm seriously considering another now so I'm watching this thread very interested.
Am I crazy for even considering it?!

Boom45 Sat 06-Apr-19 23:46:35

I'm from a big family (Spanish, Catholic - you get the picture). There's 15 years between my oldest and youngest sister, I'm in the middle.
We tended to do stuff to "suit" the eldest that was around (because of the age gaps it wasn't usual that all of us went out together) and the younger ones did their stuff alone. We did a lot of going walking because that meant we could find stuff that suited us.
If it helps at all i am probably closest to my youngest sister who is 9 years younger than me, we have always been close but as adults we get on really well - she's one of my favourite people.

Boom45 Sat 06-Apr-19 23:49:33

And also, i know some people are very against asking older siblings to look after their younger siblings but my parents gave me a lot of responsibility for my younger brothers and sisters (with always the option of saying no) and it i loved it. I felt so grown up and it was great fun being involved in teaching them about stuff

HalfBloodPrincess Sat 06-Apr-19 23:55:08

Mine are 15, 14 and 1yr 9months, and due #4 in May.

Other than swimming and crafts/messy play they don’t really ‘do’ much together, but I’ve let my oldest take him to the park at the end of the street a few times which they both enjoyed

Dutch1e Sat 06-Apr-19 23:59:01

16 years between my kids. It is like raising two only children but I'm lucky that they adore each other

MadameJosephine Sun 07-Apr-19 00:07:47

Dutch1e I could have written your post word for word! DS is 22 and DD is 6 and I worried that they would be too far apart but they are very close. DD tells me she loves her brother more than me and her dad put together times a million

QueenArseClangers Sun 07-Apr-19 00:10:32

There’s only me and my brother and we have a 27 year age gap!

With my own DC there’s 14 years between the eldest and youngest but with 3 others in between.

Mammyloveswine Sun 07-Apr-19 00:17:27

Queenarse how is there a 27 year age gap if you dont mind me asking? How old were your parents when they had your sibling?

Ginseng1 Sun 07-Apr-19 00:29:09

Like another poster above mine 11,9&2. The big 2 always bickering n competitive with each other but will do anything for the 2 year old n she loves them. It gives the big ones an excuse to be childish again. I know though as they get older things will change. We do tend to do what the olders want n she's happy to tag along at the moment & Often dh n I split up for activities especially for some days on holidays.

BlueSlipperSocks Sun 07-Apr-19 00:36:02

25 years between my eldest and youngest. Never been a problem. Youngest dd absolutely adores her elder brother and vice versa.

WidowTwonky Sun 07-Apr-19 01:05:23

It’s really tough, especially if you don’t have a partner to help out. Youngest needs to be out everyday - park, soft play...general toddler activities. It’s fine if there’s someone to watch the eldest but if not then what do you do? Leave them home alone? Drag them along?
It’s tough OP, I get that

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