17 Answers

I am not a mom but i am a god mom and auntie. But heres the thing my nephews are almost 11 and almost 3 and ever sense the youngest was born my sister has been trying to force the 11 year old to play with the 3 year old. What i mean by force is she will punish him if he doesn’t play with his brother. She tells him also that if he doesn’t play with him his brother is going to grow up thinking his brother doesn’t like him. I think this is wrong i always have they are 8 years apart she can not possibly think she is going to get them to spend all this time together. The more she forces it it seems the more he doesn’t want to do it. I always try and say like little comments about it but then I guess I’m like im not a mom what do i know if you were in my position what would you do

Posted by mom360147, 13th March 2019

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  • There is so much pressure on siblings to get along, but sometimes they just don’t. I get along better with some of my friends than I do with my brother.

  • I don’t think the mum is being reasonable. The more she pushes it, the more resentful the older child will be.

  • I found forcing it only created more issues. Much better to let them do their own thing

  • Forcing isn’t acceptable in any situation. I’ve seen a lot of parents have children with many years between them and expect the older child to help look after the younger one. Definitely hit on to punish the older child for not wanting to play with the younger one

  • I wouldnt force it because then it would be a chore for the eldest.
    He shouldnt get in trouble, but I would definitely encourage it.
    Never make a child feel like they are responsible for someone else’s happiness.

  • It is normal for 11 year olds to not want to play with 3 year olds, especially siblings. Perhaps you could take her aside and explain gently that the age gap is large and they have little in common, sibling rivalry will come around sooner than not. Being punished for not playing will just cause resentment, if she could ease up it might just happen normally.

  • You’re right – they’re not going to want to play together all the time. Maybe find some simple toys or games they can enjoy together (like ball games) but also encourage their mum to realise they will probably enjoy each other more when they’re older, and the age gap won’t matter so much.

  • Sounds like the mother has perhaps had an issue with rejection in the past, why she is so focused on her youngest being accepted and close to your oldest. Do they have the same father? In any case, it is hard. I too would love for my kids to all get along, and I have seen siblings of large age gaps get along, but you can’t force it, and with differing personalities, it can be either easy or difficult. Some siblings are close in age and never get along, so it’s futile to force something. Just reassure the mother that her kids will be fine, they might not want to play now but they could very well be close when older, and to treat them the same. Encourage her to do activities that include them both, or them as well as the mother like going to the movies, or the park, whatever they like, and if she’s really adamant on them playing together, to explain to them why she feels that way. Punishing the oldest shouldn’t happen. Neither should trying to make him feel guilty for the potential feelings of his younger brother. As long as he’s nice to him, he should be fine.

  • Forcing it wont help,positive encouragement and let them feel like its a choice would work best

  • You can’t force kids to do anything they don’t want to do. I’d try and think of an activity they both like doing and encourage them to do that together – maybe squirting water guns, kicking a ball etc

  • I don’t think you can force these things too much. They will work out how much time they want to spend together.

  • family is family and they need to know that you should want to spend time with siblings. many brothers and sisters are forced to play together and it isn’t a big deal. they need to learn there is things they may want to do and people they don’t want to play with but they have to anyway. my kids have 5 years apart and i tell them to play together – they grumble at first but then they get over it and spend time together. it isn’t your place to say anything.

  • Mmmmm, This is a tough one. I don’t believe that you can force relationships. However you can encourage supporting each other and having each other’s backs. As the auntie, there isn’t really much you can do.

  • I don’t think she can force them to play together however they are siblings and should play together sometimes. The age difference shouldn’t matter as they can draw or play outside together.

  • That age differences is a lot and they would not have the same ideas either. Yes they should have some time together but not be forced to play with each other. I only have 13 months with my younger sister and in our teens my mother forced her to take me with her as I was not very sociable. This has led to us not being able to stand each others. Had a better relationship with my younger siblings as it was not forced.

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