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Thread: "Big" kids playing with little kids?

  1. #1
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    Default "Big" kids playing with little kids?

    My two oldest kids are best friends (5 and 3.5). What they have been doing is going into their room and closing the door. They will play in there for an hour or two quite happily. However, my one year old will spend that time crying and banging on the door because he wants to come in to play.

    I can't decide what to do. Sometimes just the baby and I play together and other times I insist that the kids leave the door open and let the baby play with them. The baby isn't super destructive but my 5 year old is a bit OCD and has trained the 3.5 year old to also be OCD (they like to line up all the cars or make a train track and line up all the cars around it). Clearly, the baby messes that kind of stuff up.

    Is it too much to ask that learn to play with the baby also present? I did force the issue this morning and right now things are actually going ok.

    I wanted to have all my kids close in age so that they could play together and be good friends. Due to my miscarriages my third child is 2.5 years younger than my middle child while my first are only about 16 months apart.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  2. #2
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    I would say set time limits-like tell them for the next 20/30/etc minutes they need to let the baby play. I think it's natural for them to not want him to. And also ok for them to not play with him all the time. Babies mess things up, that's a basic truth in life for siblings! I think if they were older you could expect more leniency on their part-I notice my kids will now let baby cousins play and let the messed up play roll off their backs. But a year or two ago...not happening, every knocked down tower or messed up line of trains was a huge issue for them.

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  3. #3
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    Maybe having the baby there will be like immersion therapy for the OCD, or it could make things worse LOL. Hard to say.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  4. #4

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    My two boys are 2.5 years apart and best friends, so I think the age difference can work but obviously your oldest two have more in common at the moment. They will likely welcome the baby more once the baby can interact, move and talk. ;)
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  5. #5
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    You know I only have my one little guy, but we have been going to the pool a lot this summer and it always breaks my heart when he wants so badly to play with the older kids and they don't want to play with him. So no advice, but I know how you feel!! I wish I could force the other kids to play with him lol.

  6. #6
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    It definitely is a fine balance. I generally do let them play without him for a good portion of the day, too. The baby also takes a three hour nap each day and the bigs have quiet time together in their room where they can play quietly together or read.

    It actually ended up being a pleasant morning after the initial tears, of course. They did play fairly well with the baby in their room for about 30 minutes and then they dressed up and played in the costumes out in the living room. The baby did so, too. It isn't always so much that he wants to play with them but just be in the same room. Other times he wants to do just exactly what they are doing.

    I like the idea of having them all play together for a set time and then removing the baby so they can play by themselves for a bit, too. I wonder if in the future the two boys will be great friends and my DD will be the odd "girl" out.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

  7. #7
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    I've got four brothers and never felt left out or lonely. The only time I ever wished I had a sister was when I started dating-I thought it would have been nice for the boys to have more girls to spread their protective instincts over (and for my dad to do so, also!) even though three of them were younger than me! If anything, I started separating or isolating myself from them before they ever had a chance to break off and make me feel unincluded.

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  8. #8
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    Despite my sister and I being close in age (just 17 months apart), she was closest with my brother (who was 17 months younger than she was). So, it might not turn out that the boys will be super close with my DD not included. I'm not sure that my DD will appreciate any protectiveness - she is quite opinionated and knows her own mind.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

  9. #9

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    I agree with setting time limits to okay with the baby. Playing with a baby messing everything up can be frustrating... But it will be nice for them to include him sometimes. You could always help by thinking of an activity that they all can enjoy.

    I can imagine that I will be dealing with a similar situation in about 6 months. My older two are 2.5 years apart and are best friends. I have also worried about the younger two pairing off since they are both boys, but seeing how close the older two are now and the fact that it will be a while before the baby can really play I think they'll stay close. I think it will work out really well like that actually... Because by the time the baby is old enough to really play with Jude then Paige will be to an age where she will likely want to hang out with friends over brothers... But they will be close enough in age that they will still be friends with each other. I don't think 2.5 years is a big gap. My cousins were all around that age gap and they are all really close, even the oldest and the youngest (older two are girls youngest is a boy). So I think your kids will probably end up all being close (of course you never know for sure no matter what age gap).

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