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Do you think it's important for older siblings to help with the younger ones.

My dd is 5 years older than her brothers so I require her to help out with the younger ones. When we are going out she will help put shoes and socks and jackets on one brother while I take care of the other. And when we are at home she will help with other things. She really enjoys doing it so we never had a problem but I was wondering does requiring a sibling to help with the younger ones build resentment toward the other or a bond? What are your thoughts?

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Asked by mssemmy at 8:44 AM on Mar. 22, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (16)
  • I have a 6 year old Madalyn and I just asked her if she likes helping her lil almost 3 year old sister Natalie She said yes! I know she likes it but sometimes she gets annoyed cause Natalie will run or act silly but I know my daughter loves her sister and loves helpin her they have each other no other siblings :)

    Answer by starestrada at 8:49 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I would think that it helps in many ways. It's going to teach responcibility, give her more pride in the younger ones and teach her skills that she can use as a mother later in life. My almost 7 year old helps with my son too. When he was first born every time I would take him up to change him she would open the diaper pail and get out a new diaper while I took off the old one, and then she would put the old one in the diaper pail. Then I would let her help pick out his clothes. I think it helped that out in public when everyones focus was on the baby she could say "I picked out his clothes" Now she helps by keeping an eye on him in the living room while I take a shower. I think it's also going to build some athority in her in the eyes of the younger ones which will help when she's old enough to baby sit. There won't be a power struggle.

    Answer by Sammieanne at 8:49 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Yes,I think,it is good for them to learn responsibility,but I think,you can overdue it,not saying you,but ,I don't think they should be expected to keep an eye on them,everytime they are outside,or babysit all the time,or they will resent it. They need to have a childhood too.But just make sure you praise them for helping you,and do special things for them for helping,because it is not really their job. keep up the good work.

    Answer by Val504 at 8:52 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • As long as the help is appreciated and does not go overboard. I have seen some oldest kids that never really get a chance to be a kid because they are always responsible for something.

    Answer by MACY7108 at 8:55 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Don't over do it! I was playing "Mom" at the age of TEN because my Mom was single and worked 2 full time jobs. I had to pick him up from daycare (3 blocks away), bathe him, and cook for us. childhood went out the window. On the flip side of it I think with the fact I matured way faster than most girls, it helped me become a better parent. I already knew a lot before my daughter was born.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:16 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • It's my opinion that they should help because they are part of your family, but at the same time they shouldn't have to help to the point that they feel they are there to raise their siblings. Helping too much causes resentment. But there is nothing wrong with what you described.

    Answer by 4kidsandadog at 9:41 AM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Has long as its not overboard at think its GREAT and it reinforces the whole we are a family concept. My kids are only 1 1/2 yrs apart and he helped out with his little sister and still does. From throwing out the dirty diapers to helping find and put on shoes, picking out clothes for her and now for each other etc.
    We are a family and we all help each other.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 12:02 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I make my four year old help me with my 3 month old obviosuly she doesn;t dress ehr but I'll make her do things lke get me a nappy for her sister or her shoes or soemthing.I think it teaches them that life's not all about them

    Answer by Aimee789135 at 3:36 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Yes, it is wonderful and we do it here too. I just worry when you see to much responsbility placed on older kids. Then I worry. For instance--th Duggar family has a lot of sibling support. It seems to work well for them, but in my home I would not expect the older ones to take on and do so much.

    Answer by Teachermom01 at 5:14 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Nope. Their job is to be a kid, not play "mom" or "dad" to their younger siblings.

    If they offer, that's one thing. But "requiring" them to do it is wrong in my opinion.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:48 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

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