Siblings and cousins in same school year - sensible or not? Any experience?(22 Posts)
My sil lives in the same catchment area as us and her dd1 started school this September - my ds1 is due to start in September 2013. We are fortunate (or perhaps not, as it has made it more confusing) that we have a very good chance of getting a place at another school that is a bit further away - both schools are rated good by Ofsted, and we liked both when we looked around. I'm going to try and explain this clearly - sorry if it gets a bit complicated! I have 3 dc and my sil has 2 dds, due to start school as follows (DN for nieces):
DN1 - 2012 (already at local school)
DS1 - 2013
DD - 2014
DS2 and DN2 - 2015
After reception the school has mixed classes (Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6), so aside from the fact that ds2 and dn2 will always be in the same school year, my dc will be in a year with a cousin and/or sibling for every year of primary school. I can't decide whether this is a good idea or not. I am not exactly best of friends with sil - although we get on fine, we are quite different - I am worried about potential fallings out (we had fell out quite spectacularly a couple of years ago, it was about our respective dc.....), competitiveness, the interaction of the dc at school and the impact of having immediate family members with them all the time - not having the opportunity to find their own way outside of family, feeling like they have to play together, maybe it going the other way and them being unkind to one another? But it could be nice too, of course, and I may be worrying about nothing? Would love to hear form people who have been in a similar situation.
DD1 has one of her cousins in her class and two more a bit further up the school. She's in reception so early days but they love it so far. They do get on though. The teacher said they don't really play together any more but give each other a quick cuddle first thing and then go their separate ways
We don't have mixed age classes but next year I will have a brother and sister (not twins) and their uncle in my class. It's not unusual and isn't usually an issue for children or teachers to have cousins or siblings in the same class.
They do generally get on btw - dn1 and ds1 particularly (they are 9 months apart), but dn1 has been known to be a bit mean to my dd as I think she likes to have ds1 to herself. Dd is 3 now though, and playing in a much more grown up way, so maybe this will change soon? I think it will be quite nice for ds2 and dn2 - they are only 9 weeks apart - although I dread the inevitable comparisons! Gosh, this is confusing! I supposedly know who and what I'm talking about and I'm confused!
I have many siblings/aunts/uncles in my mixed age classes. There's never a problem, but we are very careful to treat them first as individuals and second as families - for example we have a lady who collects her daughter AND her grandchildren, but we would never use her to pass on messages to her GCs mum, iykwim.
My own daughter is in the same class as her cousin, it has made them very close. One is academic and one is sporty but we never compare.
Comparison between children is the root of family break ups!!
I think that if you are worried about comparisons then you should prebably go for the other school.
In some circumstances it sould work, but if you already have issues with SIL then maybe it is best to avoid more issues.
A friend of mine sent her dc to a different school for that exact reason. Had found sil difficult in past and didn't fancy seeing her in playground for the next 6 years
My DS1 has just started school. DS2 starts in Sept 2013. In year 1/2 they will be in the same class and then every other year through the school. They were briefly in the same room together at nursery and they were both VERY silly when they were together. I'm hoping that by then they will be a bit more mature, plus the Year1/2 teacher seems fab and I would guess she runs a tight ship so hopefully she will be able to keep the worst of it under control. I'm told its quite common in smaller schools.
I'm aware of several sets of cousins at DS's school. For some it works fine, for some it was a disaster until one of the children moved schools. Seems to depend on the chemistry between the children more than the family relatedness.
6 of DH's nieces and nephews (2 individual families) were at secondary school at the same time. They all got on and still get on really well - the older 4 are now at Uni. The parents have fallen out at various times but they don't let if affect the kids relationships with their cousins. They live a small rural community in Ireland though, so I guess it makes a difference. They all have loads of friends.
When I was at primary school (in inner London) there were a lot of extended families, siblings, cousins, nieces, aunts at school together it didn't seem to make much difference and they various supported each other or ignored each other because they weren't that close.
I think it depends on whether the other parents are likely to be nasty or competitive and expect the child to follow their lead. Personally I think my own kids have missed out by having no cousins in this country - my only sibling lives overseas - let alone at the same school and it would have been nice for them to have that sort of support and build relationships with their cousins.
DS1 was in the same year as his cousin from nursery to the end of Y11.
Apart from one occasion when the wrong parent was contacted because his cousin was ill (we share the same surname) - there were absolutely no problems.
aunts and nephews in same class is more common than many might think
let alone cousins
step siblings from old and new relationships (was a school friend, is now a stepsister)
I have taught uncles/aunts & nephews/nieces in the same class, let alone cousins and it was fine. Our school has large spread out families and it can get a bit complicated, but they all look out for each other and it's lovely to see the family bonds. Sometimes they fall out, but woe betide anyone outside the family picking on one if them!
I was in the same school as my cousins & it was fine - even though our mothers didn't get on! In some ways it was better because if we hadn't been at school together we would have grown up as total strangers because our mums didn't speak but at least this way we had a relationship. And kids are very good at ignoring their parents squabbles you know- we never even mentioned it!
DD and my BIL (her uncle) are in the same year at school. For that reason I chose to send DD to the next school along
A different perspective - my two DCs are at one school and their 5 cousins are at a school just up the road (next-door catchments). I sometimes feel sad that my two are missing out as the other two sets of cousins who see each other at school have a closeness that they don't have with mine.
Thank you everyone for your input. We have decided to go for the other school, but because overall we prefer it rather than because of the issue I've raised in this thread. The school my nieces go to will be our second choice, so they may still end up there depending on what happens with the first choice school.
My friend, though it wasn't nephews, ended up with BOTH her sets of twins in the same Reception class, because the only school they were in catchment for was a 1FE school. They weren't split up until they started Secondary!
(First set born early September, second set born late August.)
Half the kids at my school are related to each other. It's not unusual, IME. I teach two in the same class (I'm secondary) who have different surnames but have been step-siblings since they were 3ish. Their mum works at school too. We had a case recently where the grandmother of one of my yr 11s died, and obviously I knew that she and her sister would be affected. Didn't realise til then though that there were at least 6 others who were also the grandchildren of the same lady.
I don't think you should worry about it, OP, it's common enough for the vast majority of schools to know exactly how to deal with it.
I went to secondary with 2 of my cousins and I think we were a lot closer because of it. There are a few sets of cousins at DS's school and it seems to work out fine.
It's very common around here (inbred rural Norfolk). Not just same school but in same classes together. I can't say that I've seen problems unless the kids didn't get along anyway, which could happen with any 2 children.
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