"Mind the gap"?(9 Posts)
DS1 is 9.5 and DS2 is 4.5. Any tips please for the boys with the big gap? They have completely different interests and we are finding it hard to find things to do together (we had a nice time playing a board game on Sunday but DS1 didnt want to join in, DS2 asks DS1 to play but he's just not interested). Bed time is tricky as DS2 goes up at 7pm but is taking a long time to settle so DS1 is often downstairs on his own for an hour (so if he does look at his homework he doesnt get the help that he needs). DH doesnt get home til late (does at least a 13 hour day including 2 hour communte each way) and when he does arrive I then cook/heat our evening meal. Does it get better? It just feels like I have 2 only children and wish there was one in between but there's not. Any suggestions for bridging the gap? DH is 53 and I am 45, so we are permanently exhausted and feel like we are never in the same room during the week!! Thanks v much
Not much advice sorry. There is a 5 year gap between me and my sister so you have my sympathy.
Just wanted to say that if dc2 is Ta king a long time to settle you need to be firm. Our dc2 would quite happily extend her bedtime until the time I just gave up and climbed into bed with her. You need to decide what's reasonable and then stick to it. Tell him that its bedtime, you are going downstairs and he is to go to sleep. You might have a few tears but if you stick to it, dc2 should learn. We've done this since dd was around 3 and she knows that dsvneedsvtimevwith us once she's in bed.
Thanks JJJ. We have got into a habit of staying with DS2 and to add to it he's had some late nights so trying to reign him back in. Tricky now as he's a real Daddy's boy and wants to wait up for him. I can't believe I just used to put him down when he was a baby and he was fine settling on his own until he got his big bed. He never want to be left on his own (the CD helps) and at the weekend I find it easier to say that I will be back in 5 mins but in the week it just seems so manic as there are 2 meal sittings,homework ect. I will try tonight!
My DH works irregular shifts. I cook once and he warms his up when he gets home, which really cuts down on the work for me. We try and have meals we all love as a treat on the days he is here, like a roast dinner or fajitas.
If DS2 is taking an hour to settle, are you maybe trying to put him to bed too early when he's not really tired? Could you negotiate with him - he can stay downstairs for an extra half hour if he then stays in his bed and goes to sleep on his own. Or Daddy will come up and read him a story when he gets home, as long as DS2 hasn't left his bed before then?
Re doing things together at weekends, have you tried asking for their input? Ask everyone in the family to make suggestions for family activities, then spend the next month trying out one idea per week and seeing which are a success. You may have to accept though that your boys will never be very close siblings. DH and his brother are 4 years apart and not close. But my brother and I are 18 months apart and fought like cat and dog when we were growing up, so it could be worse!
Agree it could just be personality. Me and my sister aren't close but then we are very different. DH and his sister have a bigger gap and are more close and get on better, but then Dsil is lovely
I have a 9 year gap between ds2 and 3. Swimming is good as it suits them both. At 9.5 and 4.5 soft play, roller bowl, cinema or the park should keep them occupied. Lego, knex play dough etc
My gap is almost 5 years and I have boy/girl.
I find that open ended activities are the best so
I find that there is usually something to satisfy both of them in these sorts of places.
At home I find it much harder
Crafts are fast becoming out of favour with ds (8) but he will still tolerate it to some degree
Cooking see above
Story time funnily enough is still something both children love and they will happily sit and listen to me read (in fact I am generally guilty of getting over this set up way before them...they can literally sit for hours cuddled up listening to books)
I also try to do at least 20 minutes each day one on one with each child. It doesn't sound like much but it has helped with them getting on and doing some independent playing while I am with the other child and has also enabled me to become more aware of what they are interested in playing and are good at.
Thanks very much. We do a lot of things that you have mentioned (haven't done some for a while so time to revisit) but you have all really helped me realise that I am very much on "the right page" bearing in mind the gap and our life style.
JJJ - you made me smile: you are the second person today who still does a roast (that's 3 of us then). We did tried fajitas (at DS1's request) - went down quite well but DS2 doesnt like chicken or any form of potato - at least he ate the rice!
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