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How do you deal with it when a younger child overtakes an older child

(5 Posts)
dirtydishesmakemesad Sun 11-Sep-11 21:07:05

I have four ages 7,4 (nearly 5),2 and 1. My oldest two have for whatever reason been quite behind in development both having various assesments that have come to nothing, speech therapy appointments etc. My oldest daughter improved rapidly after the age of 4 and she is now 7 and doing pretty well. DS is also improving although more slowly (he wasnt able to hold a pencil properly until more recently for example) but he is really coming along. he has also had trouble with understanding and attention which is again improving but more slowly.

DD who is now 2.5 has been MUCH earlier to do things, her speech is great she loves drawing and she is always surprising me (perhaps just because i am used to the older two struggling) with what she understands etc. This is actually becoming a problem because my ds who has very little in the way of concentration anyway sees her doing something that he finds hard and just gives up.

Today for example they were all drawing, ds was really pleased he had drawn a picture of me - his picture was a mass of yellow scribbles but i made a huge fuss of how great it was. DD walks over and writes a couple of letters - not perfect but clearly letters and ds suddenly didnt want to draw anymore and made a big fuss about how his sister is a "baby" and he didnt want to play with her. It was pretty clear he was feeling put out that she had just waltzed in and done something he cant do. He will, he has improved in leaps and bounds the last few months and he isnt stupid but he cant at the moment.

How would you deal with this, I DONT teach dd things tbh she is only 2 (the letters are something she picked up from tv blush ) but i dont feel like i want her to stop doing things either if thats what she wants to do. Im not sure if bypassing the problem by only drawing or reading with the children apart is the best (would mean less time reading with older dd and ds simply because of havign to wait until younger dd was occupied) or try and explain to ds that it really doesnt matter and risk him just not understanding.

Sleepglorioussleep Sun 11-Sep-11 21:54:34

My sister,6 years older than me dealt with it by asking me for help with spelling in her o level homework! Seriously, there were things and still are that she did sooner and better than I did and vice versa. There was some envy, mostly not though.

scootergal Sun 11-Sep-11 22:58:21

i don't have answers to your post but i m sure someone here will have some wisdom to share.
It sounds like it would be maybe difficult though for everyone to continue doing the exact same activity together. The 5 year s old s self esteem maybe taking a knock by having the 2 yr old doing better than them - they re obviously aware and clued in whereas at 2 the 2 yr old is probably blithely just enjoying the discovery of the fact they can do the shapes and loving showing you (probably in the effort to be emulate their older brother and not realising they re surpassing them ) Is there any way to do activity but to have the 2 year old and 5 yr old one reading, one drawing at all? That way they both get hte opportunity to do the activity and to shine individually.

Maryz Sun 11-Sep-11 23:04:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CardyMow Mon 12-Sep-11 02:20:40

Definately divide and conquer. DD is 13yo, working at NC lvl 3/4. DS1 is 9yo, working at NC lvl 4/5. Also build up the older ones confidence by pointing out things they CAN do well - so if they are good at singing, explain to them that being a good singer is not a talent everyone possesses, and give them 1-2-1 time to show you what THEY are good at.

It was hard when DS1 was 4yo, and reading Horrid Henry books, while DD was 8yo, and still struggling with reception age books. I used to have to get DS1 to play upstairs when DD was doing her homework - that improved once he got to 8yo, and was able to empathise with how him shouting out the answers would make DD feel.

It gets better when the younger one is old enough to show empathy towards the older one/s.

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