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    How to manage the behavioral changes, when there is an age gap between two kids?

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle

    Dear Parent,

    While there are some advantages of having an age gap between two children, you will be required to manage their behavior according to their age. Here are a few tips:

    • Children go through different phases of development broadly divided into infancy, childhood, and teens. In each phase, a child has specific needs and abilities.
    • Usually it’s the younger child who wants to imitate the older child and do things she is not ready for. Sometimes the older child comes down to the level of and behaves like the younger one. Some of these behaviors might seem inappropriate.
    • Be clear about your expectations of each child and enforce the rules accordingly. While some rules apply to both children, a few will be different. For example, one child is old enough to be able to go to the shop on his own; or stay out for a longer time; or watch a particular program on TV.
    • Give the older child the space he requires. Younger siblings love to hang out with the older ones to the point where they can become a nuisance by hanging around, interfering, using their things as if it’s their right to do so.
    • A common practice is to insist that the older child must take their sibling to all outings with his friends. This is unfair and only leaves the older child feeling angry and resentful.
    • Many parents have the tendency to ignore or be lenient with the younger child because she is “still small”. The older child is often blamed or held responsible for the younger child’s behavior. It is the responsibility of the parents to correct and discipline a small child’s misbehavior.

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