(Closed) Kids close together or far apart?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 16
Member
46 posts
Newbee

I don’t have kids but my sister will tell anyone who’ll listen how glad she is that she spaced hers apart. Her daughter was 4 when her son was born and old enough not only to be able to understand that sometimes she’d have to wait while mama helped the baby, but also to actively be a help in looking after the baby. Admittedly, she got lucky in that my niece is super patient and chill so has always been really good with her brother. As far as the age gap, my niece and nephew are the best of friends (though who knows what the teen years will be like).

Post # 17
Member
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I don’t have kids, but Darling Husband is from a big family and his brother has a big family. What I can tell is that siblings less than a year and a half apart just spell problems.They fight constantly. It is hard for them to be so close in school.

Siblings 4-6 years apart have nothing in common. They don’t fight, but rarely play. They love each other, but aren’t close.

Siblings 10-6 years apart can be close as adults, but have very little in common. The older siblings end up being baby sitters.

The sibling pairs that I see as closest are the ones that are 2 1/2 years and 3 grades apart. They are close enough to play, but far enough apart to have their own lives and identities. I think that is the best split.

Post # 18
Member
2089 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m the youngest of 4 children. The age gaps between me and my siblings are 10, 17 and 21 years! Yep, 21 years between me and my brother! It was a little like being an only child, I don’t remember playing with them much. But because they left home, got married etc I got to have sleep overs at my brother’a and he loved sweets and playing board games etc so that was great. I don’t get on particularly well with my oldest sister (she’s 17 years old than me). She always thinks she knows best. Could be because of the age gap or our personalities just clash. The sister which is  closer to me in age is just 10 years older than me and we are best friends. Yes she married, had a beautiful baby but we still hang out, I still go there all the time just to hang out or we have girly shopping days. Age hasn’t really been an issue now I’m older. I’m getting married soon and we plan to TTC so I’m sure that will bring me and my sister even closer together. I don’t think ages matter, I think it’s personalities. For example, my nephew is 15 and he is absolutely awesome with my 3 year old niece (his cousin). And she just adores him!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  linnylou_88.
Post # 19
Member
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Not a parent either, but my perspective comes from my upbringing.  I am the middle child of two other girls (older, and younger obviously).  I am 17 months older than my sister, and 4 years younger than my other sister. I HATED my younger sister until about high school, when I realized she was actually really cool, and not some annoying side kick, and I tried to always mimic my older sister, whom found me to be an annoying ‘baby’.  We finally became good – call on each other friends – when I was about ready to head off to college, and she was about done with college.  We are attached at the hip now in our adulthood!

So you see, I am not sure it matters the age difference, lol.  Perhaps this was because we were all female?!  

Darling Husband and myself would like children a few years apart, but selfishly that is because I think I will want to get the pregnancies ‘over with’ (not looking forward to it :()

Post # 20
Member
165 posts
Blushing bee

Here’s the short answer:  There IS no golden age difference, haha!

I have a big family (no kids yet though) and from what I’ve seen, there can be harmony, indifference, or outright fighting in any age difference and gender mixture.  My sister and I are about 17 months apart, and were best friends growing up–we did everything together!  When I was born, my sister was still really little, so she wasn’t old enough to realize exactly what was going on.  All she knew was that she had a new little playmate.  But some of my friends/cousins who had siblings with a similar age gap fought like cats and dogs growing up. 

My Darling Husband is 3 and 5 years older than his little brothers.  When they were born, he was old enough to understand that he wasn’t the center of attention anymore, and hated it.  But both of the younger two boys got along great and played together all the time (now that they are all grown up, all three get along great–even better than my sister and I!)  On the other hand, my best friend is 4 years older than her brother, so definitely old enough to know what was happening, but they have been close their whole lives!

I also know a couple of friends who had big age gaps between them and their siblings–like 8 to 10 years.  One of them says she isn’t very close to her older siblings at all, hardly ever played with them as a kid and hardly ever sees them now.  Others are tremendously close–one of my friends even lived with her older sister (by 11 years!) after she moved out of her parents’ place.

So here’s my point–whether or not your kids get along will depend on tons of factors, mostly their personalities.  Age difference plays a small part, but ultimately you should plan on having more kids when YOU want to and are ready to, not when you think it will be optimal for current or future children.

Post # 21
Member
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My personal preference is to have kids closer in age so that we get the crazy, sleepless infant/toddler years out of the way sooner!

Dear Daughter will be 2 in early May and Baby #2 is due end of April so they will be almost exactly 2 years apart. We’ll see how it goes!

Also, I am an only child but Darling Husband has a sister who is 20 months younger than him. From the stories I’ve heard, they definitely had their moments of fighting or driving each other crazy but they also played together a lot and they are pretty close as adults.

Post # 22
Member
3725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

s2bmzbrown:  I once asked my mom why she spaced us apart and she said that she only wanted one child in diapers at a time and also wanted a “helper” who could help with little things. So, she had 4 kids; three spaced 3 years apart and the last spaced 5 years.

It worked great. I’m close with them all. I played the most with the baby growing up and we had 5 years between us. No worries for us.

Post # 23
Member
1299 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I don’t have kids, but wanted to give my perspective as the youngest (by far) of 3. My brother is 12 years older and my sister is 8 years older.  I’m not very close with either of them.  They enjoyed playing with me when I was little, but once I was a kid (and not a baby/toddler) and they were in high school, we didn’t interact all that much. They went away to college and we didn’t keep in touch, but then my brother moved back home and I just resented him for being so much older but still living with my parents and spending their money. He also constantly called me a spoiled brat, essentially for being a teenager and depending on my parents.  It wasn’t a good time.

I’m envious of my friends with siblings closer in age that have close relationships.  Sometimes it feels like I’m closer with my Future Sister-In-Law, who is just 2 years younger than I am. My relationships with my siblings have gotten better now that I’m also an adult, especially with my sister now that she has kids (I adore my niece and nephew).  However, I never call either of them just to talk or go to them when I need help.

I want to have kids 2-4 years apart.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  TGold.
Post # 24
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: dont know

Im not a parent but I’m 7 years older than my brother and never really wanted anything to do with him when he was little.  He was always being crude and scaring my friends away and I was always forced into playing with him even though he just wanted to play wrestle and fight, what 10 year old girl wants to do that with a 3 or 4 year old boy?  We still aren’t that close but that could just be his personality.  I think if depends on personalities as well as age differences and also how the parents treat them.  My fiance and his brothers are 2 and 4 years younger than him.  He and the middle brother got along great until something happened and now they all act catty towards him. I dont think there is anyway to predict how well siblings will like eachother.

Post # 25
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

I am the oldest of 3 children.  My brother is 3 years younger than me & my sister is 8 years younger than me!  I have always gotten along with them, but I’m also the most easy going haha.  My brother & sister though have always fought, despite their 5 year age gap.

I’m closest to my brother & I’m guessing it’s because we always had each other & never knew otherwise haha, but especially now because we’re both older, can have a few drinks & what not.

It’s harder with my sister because she’s nearly 17 & a senior in high school.  I’m 25 & enjoying my newlywed life.  It’s been like that all of our lives ..we’ve always been in two drastically different stages of life.

We plan to only have one child [if we even have any], but if we do have more than one for some wild reason, I would prefer they be no more than 3 years apart, preferably 2!

So there’s my long, drawn out response from someone childless haha.

Post # 26
Member
3870 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

s2bmzbrown:  Not a parent yet, but I have a somewhat interesting set-up in my family. My two sisters are eight and six years older than me, and then I am two years older than my brother. Now, I am close with my oldest sister. We are 24 and 32. My other sister is closest with my brother: They are 30 and 22. 

Growing up, my sisters fought like cat and dogs, as did my brother and I. There was no getting along for us. However, my oldest sister and I shared a room and we were close. She was old enough to take me out for sister dates, give me life advice, talk me through my period, etc. Now, she is an irreplaceable source of advice and knowledge. She has eight full years on me and has experienced everything I’m experiencing. I rely on her more than anything. I think we are spaced perfectly apart. If we had been closer in age, I don’t think we’d be as close together. 

Only recently has my brother and I started getting close. My two sisters can’t even be in the same room together. I’m not sure there’s a “magic” age gap for siblings. I think it always falls to circumstance: home life, attitude of the child, etc. I know that Fiance and I want to kind of BAM, BAM, BAM, and be done, so we are aiming for a 1.5 year to 2 year gap per child. We’ve discussed, in the past, just two with a larger gap (maybe six years or so), but I decided against it. I want my kids to be close together. 

Post # 27
Member
716 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

s2bmzbrown:  I don’t have children but my only sibling is 10 years older than me. For alot of my life I felt like an only child. It’s only once I hit 18 on that we had a close relationship. Before that the age gap just felt too great. 

Post # 28
Member
2087 posts
Buzzing bee

I am close in age with my sisters and we aren’t close at all. Even in childhood they were mean and excluded me from things because I was the baby, even though we are less than 4 years apart. On the flip side, my Fiance and his brother are over 10 years apart and they are thick as thieves.

I dont have any children yet, but I don’t think age really matters in terms of sibling relations overall. My only rule is that the first kid has to be out of diapers before I’ll even consider another one, but that’s for my sanity more than anything else.

Post # 29
Member
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My sister and I are 14 months apart.  We were very close when we were young (under 10 years old).  But as we grew up, we grew apart and fought alot.  1 year is way too close – we were constantly fighting over everything and a competition grew between us.  I would not have kids less than 2 years apart, and preferably 3 grades aparts!

Post # 30
Member
2217 posts
Buzzing bee

s2bmzbrown:  I don’t have kids but I’m a fraternal twin and have always I loved that sibling dynamic. It was perfect for us. We always had the similar things going on in school, we were able to play together, we had similar friend groups, we took part in a couple of the same extracurricular activities as well as many very different ones, and we always related to each other well. I think our parents did a great job of raising us together but letting us flourish as individuals. They let us be ourselves and I never felt like they compared us to each other and we always had freedom to grow in our own direction and forge our own identity.

I think we argued more when we were younger (my brother had a hard time sharing when we were little lol) and have become even closer as we have grown up. I love my brother and how we can talk about anything and how easy it is to relate to each other. We had some really different interests when we were in high school and college, but at our core we’re very similar people and I feel like that has come out more as we have gotten older.

One of the PPs said that kids closer in age fight more, to which I say I think it’s inevitable that siblings will fight/argue or find each other annoying at some point. No one can stop that. It’s part of the majority of sibling-sibling relationships. I think the only exceptions would be siblings who are not close at all and don’t really have a relationship with each other.

I personally think 1-3 years apart is ideal. Honestly 2 yrs apart might be perfect because it’s close enough that the kids will easily be able to relate to each other and play together, but it’s not as overwhelming for the parents as if the kids are closer together. From what I’ve seen of my friends’ situations, I think when kids are 4+ years apart there’s a definite shift in the relationship because they’re in completely different stages of life as they grow up, so they don’t relate to each other as much. I’m not saying that these siblings can’t become closer as they get older, but I have seen that with such an age difference they’re not that close while they’re growing up. This is just a generality I have observed, and I believe it to be true even though I think that individual personalities have a more significant effect one way or another, as you can see by everyone in this thread having had different experiences even with similar age differences.

In the end, you should do what you feel is best for your family. If you and your husband want more children, can handle another child (emotionally, financially, physically etc.), and think your daughter would make a great older sister right now then I don’t see what’s stopping you from TTCing. The majority of families have kids within a few years of each other, and if they manage to do it then I’m sure you’ll be fine with it too. That’s the sort of thinking I do whenever I’m trying to figure out if something is feasible for me.

The topic ‘Kids close together or far apart?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors