Having two children close in age isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. When people say, “It’s good to have children close together,” they fail to say it’s good for the kids, not for you. It’s good for the kids because they would have another person to play with who is around the same age. But for the parent, it’s not good right of the bat. You have to be referee, the mediator, and the peacemaker. If you agree with one of the children, then the other child would get mad at you and at the ages of three and a half and almost 16months, trying to explain what’s fairness is a bit of a challenge because they don’t see fair they see “My way or no way.”
The boys are very competitive. I don’t know if it’s a boy thing or siblings of the same sex or maybe siblings of the opposite sex are this way too but there’s a sibling competition: who has most toys, who has the most food on their plate, and who gets the most attention from their parents…especially from mama. Although The Don and Bam Bam are two and a half years apart, their goal is the same, “I want to steal all the attention from the other. I want the most stuff. I want my way!”
To teach them fairness, I try to make things equal as much as possible. When I distribute snacks to the boys, I have to make sure the amount looks as equal as possible. I notice The Don looks at how much Bam Bam gets to his amount. I’m waiting for the day when The Don says, “Hey, Bam Bam has more than me!” If I give one something, the other one wants it too. The only exception is if The Don does something he’s not suppose to do or if Bam Bam can’t have something because he’s too small to have it. I explain to them why although they look at me like, “I don’t care! He get’s to have it. I want to have it although I didn’t eat my dinner. I want some ice cream too!”
It’s very interested how they both try to get attention from me. I could be sitting enjoying my cup of tea when both boys come out of the TV room. Bam Bam is running towards me and then The Don speeds past Bam Bam and try to get on my lap or lay his head on my lap. I have to tell him that it’s not nice to take the attention away from Bam Bam especially if Bam Bam needed me for something. If Bam Bam sees The Don sitting on my lap for any reason, Bam Bam gets upset and what’s to sit on my lap too. I have to explain to him as much as he can understand that The Don can sit on my lap and need hugs and kisses too and he’ll get on my lap when The Don is done.
It’s not easy to teach fairness because at this age, they see it that they are being wronged. The boys are so competitive that they don’t see that if they steal attention from the other that this not fair. When they want more snacks than the other that’s not fair. If one of the boys take toys away from the other, then they are not being fair. Hopefully if they see that they see me treating them fair and equal that they will treat each other that way too. That’s all I can hope for.