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The influence siblings have on each other

Do older siblings have too much influence on younger ones? It was about a blood-thirsty monster shark dubbed Jaws. Despite a few nightmares — and an ongoing aversion to deep water and big fish — the experience is one I laugh about now. After all, exposure to age-inappropriate films, music, language and activities is par for the course growing up with siblings who were seven and nine years my senior. But now as a mother, I can't help worrying about the influence my 12 year-old son Luka is having on Simun, who is nine.

Pamela Varedy, a clinical psychologist based in California, works primarily with siblings and families. She says a two- to five-year gap between siblings can be the trickiest.

In turn, Curtis has found a new interest in scootering after he spent time at the skate park with his little brother.

  1. Moshe Ipp, a Toronto pediatrician who has worked at The Hospital for Sick Children for 40 years, says parents should watch for red flags such as inappropriate language not normally used in the house, and unusual comments on violence, sex or relationships in general.
  2. Instead, she suggests the best thing parents can do to nurture good sibling relationships is to create a positive home atmosphere where the siblings feel equally loved and appreciated.
  3. Instead, she suggests the best thing parents can do to nurture good sibling relationships is to create a positive home atmosphere where the siblings feel equally loved and appreciated.
  4. After all, exposure to age-inappropriate films, music, language and activities is par for the course growing up with siblings who were seven and nine years my senior.
  5. It was about a blood-thirsty monster shark dubbed Jaws.

Instead, she suggests the best thing parents can do to nurture good sibling relationships is to create a positive home atmosphere where the siblings feel equally loved and appreciated. When Courtney Morgan noticed that her daughter Shae — the third of four siblings ages 9, 7, 4 and 22 months — was suddenly starting to act out, she knew something was up. On Saturday mornings, for example, Shae and the older kids would get up early to get their own cereal and watch the Disney Channel, she says.

Do older siblings have too much influence on younger ones?

Moshe Ipp, a Toronto pediatrician who has worked at The Hospital for Sick Children for 40 years, says parents should watch for red flags such as inappropriate language not normally used in the house, and unusual comments on violence, sex or relationships in general.

And when allowed to watch TV, it should be limited by time and content. Some activities, particularly sports like skiing, hockey and soccer, require a certain level of physical and cognitive ability that younger children may not yet have. Or the siblings may simply have different interests.

Kathy Poletto, a mother of three in Orangeville, Ont. Pamela Varedy offers some tips on how to nurture those strong sibling bonds.

  1. It was about a blood-thirsty monster shark dubbed Jaws.
  2. And when allowed to watch TV, it should be limited by time and content.
  3. On Saturday mornings, for example, Shae and the older kids would get up early to get their own cereal and watch the Disney Channel, she says.
  4. And when allowed to watch TV, it should be limited by time and content.

Praise your oldest as much as you do your youngest. They were the only ones to ever experience your individual attention before siblings came along and that can make them vulnerable — and extra needy for attention. Never compare siblings or pit them against each other by encouraging them to squeal on one another. When siblings fight, give them both consequences even if you know who the instigator is.

It will build team spirit instead of resentment. Give older children more responsibility, which includes entrusting them to enforce rules around appropriate shows, language and activities when they are with their siblings.

Commend them when they enforce these rules or are particularly helpful and kind to their brothers and sisters. Give them some special privileges because they are the oldest e. Rosalind Stefanac is a freelance writer in Toronto, specializing in health and lifestyle issues. Her quest for age-appropriate movies and activities both her sons will enjoy is ongoing. Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2015.