Random Thoughts: More Sibling Issues

Flora gets to do stuff that Kate doesn’t get to do.

Flora got a DSi for Christmas when she was 6. Flora got her first sleepover (for her birthday) when she turned 7. Flora and I sometimes have events to attend at her school, while I have to leave the younger sibs at home with a babysitter. Flora bowls every other Sunday. Dan usually takes her.

This is difficult for Kate, watching her sister go off and do stuff she can’t do yet.

Kate does not like to be alone. Ever. At all. She won’t go upstairs by herself. Or stay in the kitchen by herself (and Michael in his high chair doesn’t count some days). There are times she won’t even go pee by herself. (This is the habit of hers I am trying hardest to break.) And forget going to bed by herself. Not happening.

Flora’s already asking when she gets to have a room to herself (again).

Saturday night, Flora got invited to sleep over at a friend’s house. In a couple of weeks, she has a Father-Daughter dance that she is going to attend at her school.

Part of me wants to do special things with Kate in direct reaction to these special events. Flora goes on a sleepover; Kate and I go get pedicures. Dan and Flora have a special event; Kate and I go see a movie. Just her and me.

But another part of me wonders if this is a good strategy. After all, Flora is going to get to do stuff that Kate won’t get to do for a number of years yet.

I honestly don’t know what to do, if anything.

Also, I may have already told Kate that we were going to get pedicures on Sunday.

Should Kate get special things because her sister gets special things? Should she just get special things — or special time — because each kid needs special time? Or does she have to just suck it up until it is her turn?

9 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: More Sibling Issues

  1. As the little sister with a big sister, yes, it totally sucks when your older sister gets to do stuff you don’t. However, and this is the advantage to being the younger one, I felt like there was stuff I was able to get away with that my sister wasn’t able to do when she was my age (whether it was because my parents were just more chill about the second kid, lazy, or whatever), so it kind of all evens out, I’d think/hope~

  2. I have nothing constructive to offer here because I am an only child. However, that certainly has never stopped me before! *plows ahead all willynilly*

    My gut says that Kate should get some special time, just because she should, regardless of what Flora is doing. But it might also be a good idea to talk to Kate about how she’ll get to do those things one day too, and what Flora has had to adjust to as a result of having younger siblings, etc. Being the older sibling vs. middle vs. youngest all have their pros and cons. Helping Kate to see the cons of being Flora and pros of being Kate might be worthwhile.

    • My gut says about the same, that Kate needs time with just me (or just Dan). And that yes, she will get things like sleepovers when it’s her turn and she’s whatever age we’ve decided those things start. Up until recently, really, Kate and Flora have been on par, with, for example, bedtime. But Flora is starting to pull away/ahead, and I want to help Kate through that without setting up, as Bluz says below, a quid pro quo.

  3. I was the oldest, so I probably have a different perspective on it, but when I was a kid, I got to do things first too. My parents told my sibs, “when you’re Bluz’s age, you can do those things too. Now sit down ’cause you’re blocking the TV.”

    But the thing was, they still got to do those things earlier than I did. And I also got in far more trouble than they did over the same infractions, merely because I went first. Perhaps they were innoculated against the trauma by the time the others started screwing up.

    I don’t see any harm in doing special things with Kate, but I wouldn’t make it a quid pro quo, or else you may be setting a standard that proves difficult to keep. and then you’ll have Michael to deal with.

    • Yeah, I, too, am an “oldest”, so I got to do things first, and/or got in the worst trouble for infractions.

      There are things we are trying to be consistent about: the DSi, for example; sleepovers. And, right, I don’t want to set it up quid pro quo. It’s actually a chance for me to get some one-on-one time with her (as long as Dan can hang out with the boy). As a middle with a brother so much younger and more dependent, that’s been hard for her to come by.

  4. I know I am coming from a different perspective, but I believe each child needs alone time, either w both parents or just one. Its not necessarily the “stuff” you are doing, but the time-even if it’s just grocery shopping. Flora had lots of alone time before Kate even got here too…Kate has always had “company”. Anything Kate likes to do that Flora does not? Shopping, walking, coloring?

    • I’ve had a hard time giving Kate alone time because of Michael lately. I think that’s the real rub here, that she does need it, and I am stretched thin. Dan’s hours are so wonky that it’s hard to divide the time accordingly.

      Kate and I like to cook together, which is something I’m trying to get back to with her. Our schedule has been *too* busy on the weekends even, so that’s been put aside. Going to try to step it up. Thanks!

  5. When we were kids, I had dance class, my brothers were altar boys, and they did sports sometimes. We did not care so much about who got to do what (other than I really did want to be an altar boy but could not back then!). But back in the ’70s/early ’80s, almost no one had play dates and there were very few extracurricular activities (at least not in my small town/Catholic elementary school), so it was not much of an issue. Plus we pretty much did everything together. Today there are so many more things for kids to do that inevitably siblings will be left out.

    To echo what others said, I think you do some special things for/with Kate, but don’t go crazy. Soon enough she will get to do those same (or other) things. And I too think each kid needs special mom/dad time regardless. Having just one, I cannot speak to this, but it seems like a good strategy, though probably not so easy having three, working outside the home, keeping the home front going, etc.

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