Friday, May 22, 2015

Competing for attention

Previously, I wrote about the health risks Moms and children face when births aren't spaced out enough. Of course, this isn't the end of the story. Finnish researchers have found that having several close-in-age children can put a strain on the entire family.

Occasionally, my husband will look at our son playing by himself and wistfully say that maybe it would have been better to have given him a sibling close to his age so that they could grow up playing together. This is a very sweet idea but there is no guarantee that the siblings would want to play together and may in fact fight all the time causing more family stress. (Side note: Sorry, Mom!)

And that is what the Finnish study found: Children similar in ages are vying for their parents' time and attention. And that constant competition can cause stress on the parents' relationship. Researchers were able to extrapolate that higher rates of divorce were found in families with close-in-age siblings.

I love my single child, and I can't imagine how life would change were we to have a second one. I know that my son likes being an only child as well. The last time I asked him if he ever wanted a sibling he gave me an honest response:

"No, I don't want to share the time that I have with you and Daddy."

He's learned from his friends at school that new baby = less time with parents. So for now, he'll stay a single.

Do you find your children competing for your attention? How do you work through that? Share your tips in the comments.

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