Sunday, February 05, 2006

Older kids and younger kids

I have five kids. They range in ages from almost 13 down to 22 months. Scott is my oldest son, he is a good kid. He is almost a teen so he has to test his limits sometimes with the back talk and being sassy, but he really is a good kid. He is great with his younger siblings. He is so patient with them and gives them a lot of time and attention.

We were at the park yesterday, walking next to a lake and I heard him say, Christopher you have to hold my hand! I don't want you falling in. I had to laugh to myself wondering when he became a mother. He kept a close on Christopher the whole time making sure he stayed safe and dry.

But I also had to wonder where the line is between sibling and parent figure. I have always been careful not to put too much responsibility on the older kids with the younger kids. They never change diapers, and I don't put them in charge of the younger sibs so I can sit around and do nothing. They are expected to help though. If Elyse needs help with her shoes or jacket I ask one of the older kids too help if I am busy. Or if I am making dinner I will ask the older kids to read or play with a younger kid to keep them busy. But I never want the older kids to view their younger sibs as a burden. Watching Scott be so protective of Christopher makes me wonder if that line has been crossed somewhere along the way. I don't think it has, I think he was just being an overprotective big brother. Still, I wonder.

I tried to get a nice picture of a sunset but this is all I got. Not very good but kind of nice in a way.


Blogger Veronika said...

I know what you mean. My older daughter would babysit her siblings a lot. Of course she was paid, but I wonder still if that was a good idea. I agree with you; there has to be a line between siblings looking out for each other and siblings taking care of each other.
There is a difference between 'Helping' and 'Parenting' and it seems that Scott is helping. I think that is so sweet!
Beautiful pictures of your kids, and California. I miss CA so much! Especially now when the weather here is 20 degrees. I'll bet it feels great there!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Tyra said...

My oldest is like a little mother, she's way more responsible than I was at her age but then, I was the baby. I think it may be a first born thing.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Slacker Mom said...

I think your son is just being naturallt protective too. I was the youngest, and my brothers protected me, they could hurt me, but no one else or anything else could.:)

9:39 AM  
Blogger SueeeuS said...

I think you should be beaming proud that older was naturally protective of younger. That is just beautiful and means (to me) that you've done something right, by instilling a sense of responsibility without even knowing it. That's wonderful!

4:25 PM  

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