Book About Brothers & Sisters: Age Spacing

imgres-1

Age Spacing

You’ve heard some parents say that they want children close in age. That way, they can spend more time together, share more experiences. Other parents feel that having children too close in age leads to unnecessary competition and not enough time to grow up before another child enters the picture.

There is evidence to support both theories. If you’d like to read a complete article on the subject, go to this article on Parenting.com.

In a 1989 article in The New York Times, author Lawrence Kutner writes about siblings that are six or more years apart. He makes a strong case for the advantages of spacing siblings further apart.

Kutner writes about families with “caboose babies” — youngest children who are born when their older sibs are in elementary or junior high.

“With the typical 2-3-year span,” said Dr. Carol J. Eagle, then a clinical psychologist and associate professor of child psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “there’s a lot more competition between the siblings. When there’s a 6-year difference, it’s pretty hard to compete.”

The younger siblings tend to see their older siblings as parents. Dr. Lucille K. Forer, then a clinical psychologist, said, “I’ve seen it work beautifully. The older child can reach out to the younger child and can be tremendously helpful. The older child sees himself as wiser and more mature.”

The younger child benefits as well, said Dr. Forer. “The younger child has the characteristics of an only child. Only children tend to have good self-esteem.”

 

Your Thoughts about Age Spacing

 

As you read these questions, you can answer them and fill in the blanks (mentally or on paper) as either a parent of two or more children or as a sibling with at least one brother or sister. If you’re an only child or the parent of an only, your opinions are just as valued.

 

  • My sibling closest in age and I (my children) are _______ years apart.
  • How would I would describe the relationship between the siblings/children closest in age?
  • In what ways do they complement each other?
  • In what ways do they collide?
  • If I could change the age spacing between me and my closest sibling in age (children closest in age) would I do it? (Think about why or why not.)

 

JL-Siblings-Hdr

Submit Form To Gain Access

 

From Moms to Siblings

We’ve just acknowledged our moms for all that they do/did do for us.  My mother has been dead for almost eight years, but I swear that she showed up last Sunday.  She might have been pointing to her watch and informing me that it was a few minutes past noon and that she hadn’t yet gotten a “Happy Mother’s Day Call” from me.  That wouldn’t surprise me!

But we siblings not only spent time considering the major role our moms played in our lives but also the ways in which they did (or did not) help foster good relationships with our brothers and sisters.  (As an aside, I am sure my mother is still having conniption fits over the frosty connection between my brother and me.  She so much wanted us to get along and remain in each other’s lives. That’s a subject I write about in The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives.  Check it out at any online book site.)

It should be said that the distance between my brother and me had little, or nothing, to do with my mother and her parenting.  At least, that’s not how I see it.

However, childhood is the time when siblings spend the most time together under the same roof.  Moms (and fathers) are an important factor in how their children get along. Parents can help their children foster close, supportive relationships by:

  • Allow children to settle their quarrels.  Research has shown that the more parents intervene. the more siblings fight.  When parents send their children to separate rooms, for example, they don’t learn how to make deals, to compromise.  Quarreling can be quite healthy.
  • Avoid the tendency to label one child as the “good” kid and another “bad.”  The “bad” child always gets blamed for trouble, while the “good” child gets away with murder.  This sets up a lot of anger for the “bad” child toward both his/her sibling(s) and parents.
  • Honor the different temperaments of children.  Temperamental differences can fuel fighting, particularly if at least one child is highly active or impulsive.  It’s not unusual for parents to have trouble differentiating between who children are and how they behave.  Often it is the difference in temperament that is especially annoying or particularly appealing.  Yet few parents can admit that they may like one child more than another at any given time.
  • Recognize that what affects one child usually affects the others.  And what affects parents is usually passed on to their children, though, most likely in different ways.

So, as we move from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day and then to Sibling’s Day next March, let’s not wait for specific days on the calendar to celebrate family and to do all we can to foster close, supportive, and fun sibling relationships.

 

JL-Siblings-Hdr

Submit Form To Gain Access

 

Book About Siblings

Tweet Visual

Boy, am I frustrated.  My ebook, The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives, has been available for almost 6 months. And while it hit #1 in its category on Amazon within the first week, it has now been demoted to #98.  Quite a fall from grace!

Sure, I can say that I’m a “best-selling author” of a book about siblings but, in truth, what does that mean?  Any author can hit #1 for a second, a minute, maybe a day, and call herself “best-selling.”

There are a lot of books out there about siblings, though a slew of them are written for kids (Aren’t you happy you have a new baby sister?  Not really!) or for parents (How to avoid favoring one kid over another—even though one is cute and smart and the other hates you?)  The challenge for me: How to find the niche about books written for adults who are most likely not new parents but siblings themselves.  These potential readers are the ones I’m after.

Where are you?  How can you find me?  Book marketing gurus have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves: use the SEO (for example, “book about siblings” in everything you write.)  Everything?  You mean, I can’t write about my other books?  About my take on this presidential fiasco?  About Mother’s Day?  Father’s Day?  Aging?

Nope.  I have to stick to the straight and narrow: book about siblings.

Can you imagine how limiting that can be?  How followers on Twitter soon tire of your mono focused tweets and links to your blog? How your Facebook “friends” are “un friending you en mass?  How your circle on Google+ hasn’t expanded in months?

How I get sick and tired of writing about my “book about siblings?”

And what about all those different angles on the topic that diminish by the day?  Yes, there are sources like news.google.com that can foster some ideas.  There is an occasional post on sites like the huffingtonpost.com that focuses on famous siblings.  You know, the ones: So and so’s brother drives a truck and lives just a block or two away from an urban slum but doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body, even though his famous sister makes millions of bucks.

Ah, isn’t it grand to be famous and have a sibling who is not but loves you just the same?  (Uh, I’m not sure there’s a lot of research out there to support that theory.)

So, on this Mother’s Day as I think of my own mother who died almost eight years ago, I also think about my two living siblings and how our relationships with each other were affected by our mom and all the good things (well, a few not so good) she did to foster strong connections between her children.  Her efforts were a major reason why I wrote my “book about siblings.”

Hats off to you, mom, even if I’m having a hell of a time expanding my ebook readership.  Maybe you’d have a few suggestions, if you were still around.

 

JL-Siblings-Hdr

Submit Form To Gain Access