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Impact of a 6 or 7 year age gap

(24 Posts)
Bragadocia Sun 12-Jan-14 09:35:55

If we try to have a second child, the gap's going to be at least 5.5 years (DS just turned 4 a few weeks ago, and not ready to TTC just yet, for practical reasons. And persuading DH reasons.). In your experience, what are the positives of a gap this big in a two child family? Do they bicker less than closer-aged siblings?

annaban Sun 12-Jan-14 09:38:45

I'll be watching with great interest too. Good luck in your quest for responses, and generally!!!

FWIW (and I have no direct experience of this) I imagine it would work quite well, and DC1 could enjoy the 'responsibility' a bit more than they would at say, 2.5 / 3


addictedtosugar Sun 12-Jan-14 09:43:46

Next door have a gap similar to this.
Oldest was very protective and proud of the baby.
Toddler years were hard, as oldest just wanted toddler to play, and they had very different physical capabilities and interests.
Now 5 and 10, and aren't best mates, but have similar interests, and get on fine.

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 12-Jan-14 09:49:19

There are five school years between my brother and me. We get on well but never had a lot in common and were only at school together for one year.

I don't know if we would have been closer if the same sex. But it's part of the reason I planned my children closer together (2y9 and 2y7).

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Jan-14 09:54:14

6 year gap here. They enjoy different things. DD adores her older brother. He's old enough not to be jealous and not to need my undivided attention all the time. They don't argue at all.
It's not the age gap I would've chosen but I'm glad we have both kids and it works fine.

Boreoff456 Sun 12-Jan-14 09:59:55

I have an almost 3 year and almost 10 year old. The eldest is fab with the toddler. She adores him and is really involved in caring for him. She even helped potty train him. He likes her to sit with him while he goes.

It can be difficult trying to find things for them both to do. Buy it gets easier as they get older, we are going to the cinema later today.

They do fall out, but do adore eachother. The same as any age gap. Its has its positives and bits that are not ideal.

I have never regretted the age gap.

Boreoff456 Sun 12-Jan-14 09:59:56

I have an almost 3 year and almost 10 year old. The eldest is fab with the toddler. She adores him and is really involved in caring for him. She even helped potty train him. He likes her to sit with him while he goes.

It can be difficult trying to find things for them both to do. Buy it gets easier as they get older, we are going to the cinema later today.

They do fall out, but do adore eachother. The same as any age gap. Its has its positives and bits that are not ideal.

I have never regretted the age gap.

TheArticFunky Sun 12-Jan-14 10:01:10

Positives: No jealousy

Rare to bicker

Very caring and compassionate towards each other.

The early years are not over too quickly.


Very hard to give the eldest adequate attention in relation to homework

The youngest is dragged around on cold wet days to football pitches when he would rather be at home

Sometimes feel like the eldest is missing out, his friends go bowling but he feeds the ducks

Costs/impact on career - The early years last longer.

MrsCakesPremonition Sun 12-Jan-14 10:04:13

There is a 7 year gap between myself and my DSis.
I thought she was great as a baby. I loved being old enough to feed her or hold her while she napped.
There was a certain amount of bickering when she was a preschooler and as she started school. I knew exactly which buttons to press while still looking like the innocent party and I think she found it hugely frustrating. But we still played together a lot.
However once I became a teen, she pretty much dropped off my radar. I was busy doing my own thing, lots of activities, then boyfriends and exams and working and 3 years at uni.
I moved home when I was 22 and she 15. And I thought she was pretty amazing. I love her to bits and we are very close.

CalamitouslyWrong Sun 12-Jan-14 10:08:37

There are 9 years between DS1 and DS2. They get on brilliantly. Ds1 is very patient with DS2 and very protective of him. DS2 hero worships DS1.

DS1 thinks up games and plays with DS2. I'll go in and he'll have helped him to assemble and play with a really complex playmobil world, or they'll be making something complex out of Lego. They share interests in Lego and videogames. DS2 likes to watch DS1 play things like sonic and has a bit of a Pokemon obsession.

We try to make sure that we do stuff that will interest both boys. Now DS2 is 4 that's getting easier, as he'll take some interest in what DS1 is interested in. Or one of us will do something with DS2 while the other takes DS1 to see a film or to some videogames event.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 12-Jan-14 10:09:19

They might not be particularly close as children: 7 years us huge as a child, less so as an adult.

CalamitouslyWrong Sun 12-Jan-14 10:11:44

My two don't really fight. DS1 does (understandably) get annoyed with DS2, but you can't really fight with your 4 year old brother. I sometimes just have to ensure that DS1 gets some DS2-free time.

DS1 is an excellent baby/toddler entertainer. My friend bribed him with cake to entertain her toddler at soft play while we sit about and chat. He does actually enjoy playing with the toddler too.

hollylive Sun 12-Jan-14 10:19:42

It is great to have a brother or sister no matter what the age gap.. and its no guarantee they will get on well if they are near the same age. I have a 7 year old and a 2 year old. They adore each other. There are problems with toys not appropriate though and the 2 year old does "destroy" works of art by my 7 year old. However I make sure my 7 year old gets time to herself and I feel that is very important.

Goldmandra Sun 12-Jan-14 10:19:48

Nearly six year gap here.

No bickering for the first ten years was lovely but now they are 10 and 16 they do go head to head a bit.

DD1 wasn't jealous when DD2 was born because she could join in the care so much and BFing meant I was able to sit down and read/play games for hours.

DD1 is very protective of her sister and DD2's friends really look up to her.

Not competing for the same sort of attention makes it easier to be fair in their eyes.

DD2 has always had to worship DD1's friends from afar which is a bit sad. It has rarely been appropriate for her to join in.

Two sets of friends whose children are your children's ages is nice.

You get virtually dragged onto the PTA second time around.

DD1 can babysit for short periods, do school pick up and help out in other ways which is nice.

Oblomov Sun 12-Jan-14 10:34:57

Ds1(10) , ds2(5).
I have a 4.7 yr age gap.ds1 had just started reception when ds2 born.
I have 3 friends from png, with exactly the same age gaps.
Mine works perfectly. They argue a bit. But ds1 is very protective. They are so incredibly loving, it melts my heart. They play a lot , and sometimes play fight gently, but often turns into a scrape. But we have been working on that for a while.
Ds1 likes showing ds2 how to do stuff. They play wii and x box together.
Besides, why you worrying? You can't lower the age gap? I mean you can't change it. You can't magic a 2 yr old suddenly. So just accept and enjoy!

Bragadocia Sun 12-Jan-14 11:04:43

There is much that is encouraging here - thank you. DH's concern is that they won't play together, but I don't feel overly bothered by that. I love watching the dynamic between toddlers and older siblings when I see them in the park, and can imagine that in our family's future.

FudgefaceMcZ Sun 12-Jan-14 13:52:57

God how on earth do all of you have large age gaps and no bickering? I have 4 and 12 yos and it is like having a pair of angry gibbons at times. Was ok for the first couple of years but once toddler/preschooler old enough to get into the older ones things, there are now arguments several times daily. Younger is jealous of older, older is irritated by younger. I am hoping they end up like you and your sister, MrsCakes, but not too hopeful at the moment.

FudgefaceMcZ Sun 12-Jan-14 13:58:28

Sorry OP, wrt positives, the older is sensible enough that you don't have to be constantly 'managing' them while caring for a baby. I have seen friends with a toddler and newborn and it looks hellish (I am not a great parent anyway, so maybe it seems worse to me, but I honestly cannot see how they get through it without either becoming seriously injured or having a mental breakdown- admittedly I have been single parent since pregnant with dd2, so maybe it's easier if you have a supportive partner?). I can pretty much trust dd1 to get herself ready for school etc, it's just the shouting and rows when younger gets her lego/painting/pencils/etc that are problematic. I would have to be up at 5 to get two closer in age ready for school/work/nursery, as it is the older one gets herself ready (apart from losing PE kit and books periodically), and helps with younger, so much easier. They can also be really lovely together for long enough to take a cute photo before starting to fight again, which I think is rare with a baby and toddler pair.

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 14:39:42

I have a 7yr2mnth age gap between DC3 (DS2) and DC4 (DS3).

It's worked out nicely, and surprisingly, DS2 gets on really well with DS3. They have similar temperaments, and DS3 loves watching DS2 play his Skylanders computer game, despite not quite being 3 yet - he's 3 in a couple of weeks, and DS2 turned 10 a month before Christmas.

I have found it quite hard to how back to the baby stage - I found a closer gap less stressful, because with the 7 year age gap, I had got used to DS2 being at school during the day, and I had got used to sleeping through the night. I sadly had a sb baby boy when DS2 was 5yo, and that's why I have such a large age gap.

Having said that, we all dote on DS3, and while I wouldn't necessarily have chosen to have this large an age gap, I am now loving it, seeing how DS2 has taken DS3 'under his wing', and tries to teach him to count , and does jigsaws with him, and sings songs with him.

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 14:46:50

Only issue I have really groaned at with a 7 year age gap is that this October, I will not only be applying for Secondary school for DS2, but I will also have to apply for a Reception place for DS3.

In a town that is going to be 157 Reception places short for 2015, AND 139 places short for Secondary.

It will extend my Prinary school run duties too - as DS2 will finish Y6 as DS3 is starting Reception. No gap between the two with a 7 year age gap!

Due to also having two older DC's, I started doing school runs in 2000 when DD started preschool, and I will finish in 2022. Which means that right now, I am in my 14th year of school runs, and have another 8 to go...

I'm somewhat peed off with school runs!!

BillyBanter Sun 12-Jan-14 14:51:50

There are advantages to having larger gaps. The older child will be less in need of your attention than a toddler, engaging in more independent play, leaving you free to give the new baby levels of attention closer to what a first child gets. They are less likely to be jealous of a new sibling than when they are closer in age and will probably find the new toy child a delight. Also helping 'take care' of a younger child will give them good practice for being a parent themselves one day! Having a child who is old enough to 'supervise' your baby will make it easier for you to have a shower in peace.

My DBs were 7 and 5 years older than me which meant when I got to 3/5 they were big enough to swing me back and forth wrapped in a sheet. Also they used to lie on their backs with knees up to their chests. I would sit on the soles of their feet and they would catapult me into the air. Great fun!

The younger did however think me a bit of a pain tagging along after them and his mate to school during my first year...

ToffeeWhirl Sun 12-Jan-14 14:59:51

Six-year gap between my two boys. DS1 was delighted to have a sibling and was very protective and caring for the first year. As soon as DS2 started walking and talking, he found it much harder and I'm sure he missed the lack of one-to-one time with me. There have been rocky patches and definitely periods of jealousy. They played together a little a few years ago, but not at all now (they are 8 and 14). However, DS2 absolutely adores his big brother and forgives him anything; and DS1, although appearing nonchalant, is still very protective. They definitely love each other very much, although you wouldn't always guess it from their everyday behaviour.

I'm glad I didn't have to go through the difficulties of managing two under-fives. Also, as our older one grows up, it's lovely to still have a little boy in the house.

Foosyerdoos Sun 12-Jan-14 15:05:57

There is 7 years between my 2, dd is 14 and ds is seven. Tbh I can't see any real negatives to the situation. My two bicker and get on each other's nerves but there is no real rivalry. They also have common interests. I can see them having a very good relationship as adults.

EmperorTomatoKetchup Sun 12-Jan-14 19:00:42

Six years between me and my brother, strangely we got on much better as children than we do now, but that's down to very different personalities and views.

We were actually very close as children/teenagers as he was a protective big brother who always looked out for me. I don't think a smaller age gap would have made any difference and I actually think we would have been less close.

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