Thursday 18 February 2016

Pros and cons of big age gaps between kids

As I watched the kids run around the park, I pondered yet again the big age gaps between them all. Chloe turns 18 this year, and Sophie will be 3 just a few weeks later. That's a difference of 15 years. And so much has changed in the world in that time. The first iPod only came out 15 years ago, and Facebook bought Instagram 3 years ago. That got me thinking - what are the good and bad things about big age gaps between kids?

Pros of big age gaps
  • big kids can help more around the house This frees up time to focus on the little ones
  • big kids can operate technology when Douglas was little, and Chloe wasn't around, he needed help using gadgets. Now he's the one turning things on and off for the little ones
  • big kids can guide little kids by sharing their experiences I caught Douglas and Chloe chatting a couple of times during our day. I have no idea what was mentioned, but I know there would have been some great advice from Chloe (she's previously shared tips on social media, and for starting high school)
  • they always keep you on your toes Because there's different needs according to different ages, there's never a dull moment.
Cons of big age gaps
  • never getting new toys This is something we really noticed with Sophie - there's no need to buy more toys, because we have so many in the house already.
  • big kids know how to upset little kids Riley hates being called a baby. So Douglas calls him a baby to upset him. I caught Riley just last week calling Sophie a baby, which upset her. 
  • sometimes big kids behave like little kids Quite often, we get silly behaviour from Douglas that we would more expect of Riley.
  • big kids scare little kids Irrational fears become magnified when your brother is chasing you around with an ant on a stick.
  • big kids leave home Once they start their own lives, it can be difficult to keep the connection with siblings.
Sometimes, I'm sad for the relationship that they won't have, but when I see them all laughing and playing together, sharing stories and secrets, I know that they will be ok, because they do have each other.



  1. I think there are definitely pros and cons for any age gap. I have 18 months between my eldest two and then 4 and a half years until my youngest - so there are 6 years between my eldest and youngest. Things are getting a little better this year as they are all at the same school so there is a common experience to share. But my boy is off to high school next year so we'll have to see how that changes the dynamics, yet again!

  2. A thought provoking post! There's 8 years between me and my sister, with no one else in between. That was a big gap when I was little - but it's closed since we grew up. I think I was probably very annoying when she was in her teenage years! My kids have 3 years between them and that seems about right for us. You're right about older siblings being able to give advice to younger ones and have them listen, you could say exactly the same things and they'd ignore you!

  3. Great post Cate. I had my 5 kids all within 6 years so I suppose there's a gap between the eldest and youngest. It's funny that the eldest two teamed up and the second and third teamed up. All of them love the baby girl. No one takes advice from anyone though!

  4. With a gap of 11 years between eldest and youngest I was recently thinking about how much parenting seems to have changed in that time. Instead of sandwiches wedged in the VCR it's business cards in the DVD player etc.

    I like it when the little kids bring out the more juvenile side of my overly serious 14yo and a little help around the house is a very welcome thing.


Thanks for leaving a comment!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig