Even if the parents apply every effort to make children feel equally comfortable, family dynamics can still be more difficult than we would like. One of these possible difficulties is the age difference: older children may be unhappy with the fact that they are forced to look after younger ones, younger ones may feel distant from their elders due to the fact that their interests no longer coincide. We have already figured out how a relationship can develop if parents are much older than their own child, and now we talked with different people whose age difference with brothers and sisters is ten or more years, about how they communicated before and is it true that over time, the difference becomes less noticeable.
Text: Alina Kolenchenko
older than sister by 12 years
At the age of twelve, I suddenly learned that I was going to have a sister. Honestly, I was not at all happy about her appearance: we lived in a cramped apartment, our parents were constantly quarreling, and now endless children's screams were added to this. I was never delighted with small children, and when I looked after my sister, I did it purely mechanically, without feeling tenderness. This experience has forever discouraged me from having children - I cannot imagine that someday I will voluntarily agree to mess with babies, endure oars, diapers and other joys of motherhood.
I remember how I was angry with my sister and hated to walk with a stroller: we lived in a small town, and I often caught sidelong glances on myself or heard remarks in the spirit of "Still a schoolgirl, but already with a child." At that moment I was a teenager with typical problems for this age, such as dissatisfaction with my own appearance and unhappy love, and the attention of my parents went entirely to my sister. I felt lonely and unhappy. I had to grow up dramatically and become independent - I had to solve all the problems at school and in my personal life myself, since my parents were completely focused on raising the youngest.
I left my hometown when my sister was four, and since then we have been separated not only by the age difference, but also by the distance. We rarely see each other, but when we meet, she repeats how much she loves me, and touchingly climbs to hug, which I am still surprised: it seems to me that I was not a very good sister. Now I try to become one - for example, once every two or three months I invite my sister to my place in Moscow and try to give her as many impressions as possible, to bring her to interesting places. I can't wait for her to grow up and we can travel together, go to bars and discuss relationships.
It seems to me that she was lucky to be a late child: the financial situation of the family has improved significantly and my sister is surrounded by more comfort than I was in her years, and most importantly, her parents no longer work day and night and can pay attention to her. Now my sister is ten, and the responsibility for her fate is pressing on me more and more: my parents are no longer young, which means that soon it will be me who will have to take care of her. I'm a little worried if I can handle it.
older than brother by 17 years
For me, the birth of my brother coincided with an exciting and difficult period of preparation for the exam and entering a university. I can't say that I experienced any special feelings when I met my mother from the hospital - just a little excitement and joy. There was no jealousy, no anger, or other negative feelings that children can experience in such a situation. I was already old enough, I had other priorities and interests outside the family: I was worried about moving to another city, relationships with girls, hanging out with friends. The most unpleasant memories of that time - when I had to stay with my brother while my parents were not at home. In the absence of his mother, he began to cry a lot, and I had to calm him down for hours, holding him near the window and looking out for my parents' car together.
A year later, I went to study in another city. The day of departure was very memorable. A few hours before the train departed, my brother asked him to ride a toy rocket, on which the song "Well, friendship begins with a smile" was played. There is no longer this rocket or the store next to which the attraction stood, and I still remember that moment as one of the most touching events associated with the move.
Now I rarely see my younger brother, as I come home only a few times a year. He is always glad to see me and does not step aside. We walk, communicate. It can be seen that he is proud to have an older brother. My family is not rich, and my parents are already near retirement age. I'm a little worried that when he is eighteen, our mom will be fifty-nine, and his father in his seventy (we have different fathers), and he drinks. What can they teach him? Will they be able to give him a "road to life", support him financially, or will I have to take it upon myself? Time will tell.
15 years younger than sister
My sister and I were born on the same day - only she was fifteen years earlier. She really wanted her little sister, and although the parents did not know the gender of the unborn child until the last, they already bought things for the girl in advance. A month before my appearance, my sister visited London and bought beautiful rompers and sneakers there with pocket money, although she could have spent everything on herself.
When I was very little, my sister took care of me no less than my mother: she ironed diapers, fed me, walked with me in the yard, went to the dairy kitchen, and when I got older, she took me to the cinema, bought clothes for school, helped with lessons. I really enjoyed spending time with her, but our relationship was more like that of a mother and daughter, rather than two sisters. Now we are friends, we go to concerts, to the theater together, I share with her everything that happens in my life. Over the years, the age difference ceases to be felt.
older than brothers by 9 and 19 years
I was nine. Two weeks before the birth of my brother, my beloved grandmother died, so that period was imprinted in my memory in a special way: at first it suddenly became bad, and then life went on completely according to different laws. When my mother returned from the hospital, everyone was very interested. The cat and I were on duty at the crib in turn, both of us did not understand at all what kind of thing it was.
I don’t remember being prepared for my brother’s appearance. When he was very little, I played with him, went for a walk with a stroller, tried to make him laugh. Mom told me that when my brother began to age "why", he always first asked a question to one of the parents, listened, nodded, and then said: "And now I'll go and ask Katya." And if my answer was different, I took it as the only correct one.
I do not remember jealousy or the feeling that now the parents love someone else. But when my brother grew up and began to draw in my notebooks and destroy my world in every possible way, I just exploded with a sense of injustice. To any dissatisfaction, they answered me: "Well, he's small." And when he was three, and when he was seven, and when he was ten years old, it was incredibly infuriating. I was annoyed by his immunity, and most of all - that he understood everything and used it. We did not have any bullying or enmity, we often played together, but this feeling of injustice gradually grew into an insult to my father - later he and his brother moved to a separate apartment and spent a lot of time together, which I always lacked. I entered the university, my brother sometimes came on weekends, and at that time I practically did not feel the connection between us.
When my brother was ten, my father died and my brother returned to live with my mother. The general shock and life on the same living space brought us closer together. From about fifteen I stopped feeling the difference in age at all - we go snowboarding together, go to parties with my friends, or just chat about life. Now it seems to me that the bond between brother and sister cannot be stronger.Of course, attacks of "senior responsibility" periodically roll over me, but my brother stopped using this - he refuses help when he can solve the issue himself, and constantly offers help to me. For the last two years I have been traveling, so we keep in touch mostly online, but for both of us, distance has never been a problem.
It's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to have an older brother or sister. I've always wanted a tough older brother, but now I think I want to be a tough older sister. Not a person who teaches us how to live, but a mediator between generations. I translate my mother's anxieties into his language and explain why this is important, tell me what I experienced at his age. The role of a sister gives me more resource than the role of a daughter, partner, friend, I feel it better. I sincerely sympathize with people who grew up alone - this is an incredible feeling of a gang that is always with you, I would not exchange for any unwritten notebook.
When I was nineteen, six months before my father's death, he had another son. I was already an adult and a little distracted from my family, so the appearance of another child did not cause much emotion. After dad's death, his partner said that she didn't want us to talk, so the last time I saw my brother was when he was about two years old. Now he is nine, and I really want him to know that he has as many as two relatives - a sister and a brother. But sibling is not just about kinship, it's a shared experience, so I don't know if we can ever feel that connection. I really hope for it.
older than sister by 14 years
When I found out that our family was waiting for a replenishment, I was glad, although I was worried that my parents would pay less attention to me - I was already used to being the only child in the family. When my mother was in the hospital, I, like a husband, was on duty under the windows and was incredibly happy that I finally had a sister. With her birth, new responsibilities fell on me, I had to learn a lot. But now I am perfectly able to take care of children: to walk with a stroller, read books, be rocked. At first, I often snapped at my sister over trifles, but then I stopped - she taught me patience. Parents believed that we had an ideal age difference: I just had to go to study in another city, and my mother could fully devote herself to raising a second child. And so it happened.
Now I see my sister several times a year. She really looks forward to our meetings, because I can understand her interests better than anyone in the family. Of course, the age difference makes itself felt: some of the things she is fond of seem funny to me, but at such moments I just remember myself at her age.
10 years younger than sister
I am the youngest in the family, and it seems that my parents have always loved me more. My sister still sometimes takes offense at me for this. According to the stories of her parents, she was incredibly happy about my appearance. I have the warmest memories of my childhood together, despite the fact that we fought a lot and often could not share something. Since I was younger, in our showdown, my mother always took my side and my sister got it in full.
When I first started school, my sister left for another city, and for the next ten years we had little contact. Each of her visits was a real holiday for me, on such days I even skipped school. In general, all my childhood I felt like the only child in the family and enjoyed all the privileges of such a position. Several years ago, my sister returned to live with her parents, but I, on the contrary, left - and now we see each other even less often than before. The age difference between us is felt when she does not understand my jokes - at such moments I call her a grandmother. But she is not offended. And I’m also sorry that I, for example, cannot go to a bar with her and light it up: I’m twenty-three, and she’s already an adult woman with completely different interests.
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