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If there's a >10 year age gap between you and your sibling (and you and that sibling are both adults now), come on in!

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If there's a >10 year age gap between you and your sibling (and you and that sibling are both adults now), please tell me about your relationship with that sibling.  When there’s such an age gap and you spent (relatively speaking) less time at home together than you would have if you both had been close in age, I’m curious what effects this has on the outcome of the future/adult relationship.    

I’d like to know:

What are your and your sibling's thoughts on the quality of your relationship now that you're grown?

How often do you see one another?

Are you close? (emotionally and distance) 

How often you speak?

How affected you are by his/her presence(or absence) in your life?

​Were you always close/distant?  what factors led to this?

​How thankful are you that he/she is in your life?

​Were you both homeschooled (homeschoolers tend to spend more time with siblings)?

​and whatever else you think to share!

​Please add some basic info about how many siblings you had, birth order, ages, etc. for good measure!   :-)

 

​I'm asking because I'm a pregnant (homeschooling) mama who, come September, will have a 12.5 year old son and a newborn daughter;  my wheels are on over-drive wondering what such an age gap looks like in all stages of life.   Obviously, no two experiences are the same, but I'd like to hear from others about what their relationship ended up looking like into adulthood. 
 

[For those of you recognizing the “tone†of this inquiry, I’m the new gal who started this thread this week:

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/647143-if-theres-a-big-age-gap-between-your-kids-oldest-has-left-nest/      ] 

This forum is AWESOME!  I wish I'd have known about this years ago.  

 

​Somewhat_sane

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My eldest sister is 12 years older than me. She is one of my best friends.

 

I didn't really get to know her until college though because she was in boarding school until I was 7 and in another country from me until I went to college. So I can't speak to that aspect.

 

We talk a few times a week on the phone. We live across the country from each other. We also text.

 

Neither of us were homeschooled.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My youngest sister was born when I was nearing 13.

 

We have always been close and gotten along well.  I enjoyed taking care of her as a baby.  During her preschool years, I taught her how to read and stuff.  I continued to teach her / read with her and spend lots of quality time together, until I went away to law school when she was 9.

 

I've always considered her one of the greatest blessings of my young life.

 

We've always had good chemistry.  We can talk for hours about everything.

 

I became a mom about 3 years before she did, so she tends to look to me for parenting advice.

 

We like to do things together with our kids when it works out (which isn't very often in our busy lives).

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My sister is ten years younger. I am the oldest of three sisters; she is the youngest.

 

We have a great relationship. We're good friends.

 

We see one another weekly.

 

We live a couple miles apart and have always been pretty close. We're not phone people, so we talk about once a week, but sometimes one or the other will call to process a rough day. We text occasionally, too, throughout the week.

 

How am I affected? Hmmm. She's one of my most trusted friends, as is our other sister. I love her and adore her children. I am delighted that she moved closer.

 

We've been pretty close always, though it's waxed and waned as we each went through different life stages.

 

I can't imagine my life without her.

 

We were not homeschooled.

 

:)

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Growing up, I was closest to my brother who is two years younger. I was perpetually annoyed by the sister 5 years younger. And The Baby, who is 8 years younger was always The Baby. I left home when he was 10. As adults, I'm closest to my sister, and then my close-aged brother. My youngest brother and I never really got the chance to form an adult relationship. We live far apart, have nothing in common, and rarely see one another. Our personalities are just so different that we've never formed an adult bond. A closer age range might have given us more common ground as children, but it wouldn't guarantee an adult friendship. We don't dislike each other. We even love each other, but not the same was as my other siblings. Oddly enough, the two I'm closest to cannot stand each other. It's nuts and they're both closer to the youngest than I am.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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My remaining sibling and I are 10 years apart. We had a sibling between us, two years younger than me. Both of us were closer to him than to each other.

 

What are your and your sibling's thoughts on the quality of your relationship now that you're grown? How often do you see one another? 

Our relationship is improving. My sibling has a mental illness that was challenging to live with. We see one another once every year or two.

 

Are you close? (emotionally and distance) 

We are not physically close and I prefer to maintain some emotional distance.

 

How often you speak?

Once a month or so, usually by email.

 

How affected you are by his/her presence(or absence) in your life?

It depends. My sibling has done some obnoxious things that affected me a great deal.

​

Were you always close/distant?  what factors led to this?

I was my sibling's primary babysitter/caretaker for many years and this strained our relationship. At 16,17, 18 did not want my 6-8yo sibling to tag-along with me and my friends. I also resented the material things my sibling was handed on a silver platter (brand new cars...wrecked...etc.). The sibling we lost was the bridge between us. When he was gone, things became more difficult.

 

​Were you both homeschooled (homeschoolers tend to spend more time with siblings)?

No.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I have two sisters 8 and 11 years older than I am.

 

For my sister 8 years older -- she moved to Alaska when I was 11. She remained extremely close to my mother with frequent phone calls. I talked to her on the phone but I guess in a shallow way. We have never developed an adult relationship. I had a great visit to see her in Oregon about 15 years ago. I see her about every 3 years, sometimes every 2 years. She came when my twins were born (when they were probably 3-4 months old) which meant a lot to me. She and my mom are very close and take mother-daughter trips usually once a year. I feel close to her because we are both close to my mom, but I am not directly close to her right now. I share things about her with my kids but they are memories of someone under 10 -- I remember some little things about her. They aren't things that reflect her as a person now though. But my kids like her and like to see her when we do see her. She makes an effort to send gifts to my kids which is very appreciated.

 

My other sister is 11 years older. She lived out of state for a couple of years leaving when I was 6. I missed her when she left but normal sadness -- it was not traumatic or anything. But I did miss her. But I was closest to my mom, it was not like a surrogate parent leaving. But I do remember crying and watching the car drive away (probably every time she visited).

 

Then she moved back to my hometown when I was in 7th grade. I spent a lot of time with her (weekly, and monthly most of a weekend day) through middle school and high school. I know her as an adult. We don't talk a lot but pick up where we left off when we see each other, and we try to see each other when we can. She came when my oldest son was born. She is less-close to my mom in some ways, but she lives in the same town and her kids are close to my mom; so I always know what is going on with them. Also her husband is on Facebook and I comment on his posts a few times a month.

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I am the oldest of 8 siblings. We were all homeschooled but I got married just before I turned 20 and my youngest sister was only 4. (She was my flower girl). I am close to all of them. I'm close to them in different ways. The ones closer to my age are in a similar place in life - children, houses, careers. The younger ones come to me for advice a lot and are close to my kids. Also, I enjoy many of the same activities (karate, ultimate frisbee, music) as my youngest siblings so we connect with those activities. Our social circles are very mixed age as well so it's normal for kids and parents of all ages to enjoy each other's company. I'm equally as comfortable socializing with the parents of my kids' friends (who are all 15+ years older than me) as I am with young adults the ages of my youngest siblings (who are 10-15 years younger than me).

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I'm the oldest. I am not close to my half-siblings 8, 10 and 12 years my junior. We went to public school, but I was expected to baby-sit a lot outside of school hours.

I went to college 2 hours from home, working in another city the summers after jr and sr years, and moved out of state after that.

 

Money was a significant deterrent to visits in either direction.

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I was not homeschooled.

 

I only have two sisters, 11 and 13 years older.  I don't have many early memories of us getting along and doing things together.  I do remember sharing a room with my next oldest sibling and getting locked out, or being yelled at or told I was being a nuisance, sometimes even getting hurt... I remember often being in the car driving them places. Then they had graduated high school and were out of the house, and there was little/no relationship for several years.

 

I've always felt I was raised like an only child.  I was lonely at home, playing by myself.  Luckily there were often neighborhood kids to befriend.

 

My sisters are good people and we would see each other at family functions regularly, and we still keep in touch via text/email.  My family is pretty solid and stable compared to many.  But I don't know that I will ever feel close to them, the way they feel with each other, they way they do things together.  There's a chasm that can't seem to be crossed despite our best efforts.  I don't know if they feel the way I do.  Now we have the added impediment of living far away, but it hasn't much changed from when it was only a 15 min drive.  But I know that if any of us get in trouble or need support, our sisters will be there and have our back 100%.

 

This was a real concern for me when we had a child 7 years after our second boy.  I wanted to have a fourth so that he could have a sibling close in age.  It warms my heart when he crawls around the floor with the baby even though I know I'm setting myself up for trouble (they'll be thick as thieves! We can already tell) -- but my 3 yo and his older siblings don't play together very much, and he is seen as a nuisance pretty often, and I am glad he has a sibling close in age.  I should also mention that my two oldest play together constantly and have always been great companions.  They have not had the benefit of neighborhood friends the way I did; they are not popular kids.  But they have always had each other.

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What are your and your sibling's thoughts on the quality of your relationship now that you're grown?

How often do you see one another?

Are you close? (emotionally and distance) 

How often you speak?

How affected you are by his/her presence(or absence) in your life?

​Were you always close/distant?  what factors led to this?

​How thankful are you that he/she is in your life?

​Were you both homeschooled (homeschoolers tend to spend more time with siblings)?

​and whatever else you think to share!

​Please add some basic info about how many siblings you had, birth order, ages, etc. for good measure!   :-)

 

 

 

I was 24 when my younger brother was born. I was out of the house and already married with a teenage step-daughter of my own. I am the oldest, I have a sister 2 years younger than me that I have never met and have talked to a handful of times on the phone. 

 

Our relationship is not close and growing up he found my house to be boring and so would do other things rather than come here to visit and he spent holidays with his mom so he's closer to her family. 

 

We see each other maybe once or twice a year and he is often in a hurry. 

 

Basically we have no relationship. It's sad because I always wanted a little brother but he came into my life too late for us to have any sort of closeness.

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Oh, reading other replies, my sister who is 8 years older than I am had to babysit me at times. I think it hurt our relationship. She liked to hang out with me and spend time with me, when I was little, when it was natural. But she really did not like having to babysit.

 

It was not that is was excessive, but there was just a shift between me being a burden or someone she would want to spend time with.

 

My oldest sister taught me to read and yes that was something special.

 

She never really had to babysit me, either.

 

I don't know what the dynamic really was because I was so young, but my mom took a harder job (edit because of a divorce) when my oldest sister went to college, and it seems like then my middle sister got stuck with having to do a lot more chores and babysitting than my oldest sister ever had to do. I don't think it was fair to her but I think it was a mix of things and not just babysitting me. (Edit -- there were work financial difficulties too and somehow there was always money for things my oldest sister needed because they were considered important; but for my middle sister she did not get the same help or support, and this was mainly on my father's side but still it was a part of my sister's life and did impact how often she visited, and there were even things like my father paying my older sister's travel expenses at the same time or life but just not doing it for my middle sister. Technically this was between my sister and dad and not involving me or my mom; but it did hurt my relationship with my sister.)

 

She is very close to my mom but she isn't close to my other sister, either.

 

Also my mom really wanted me and this sister to be closer when I was a teen, and I think she pushed my sister too hard and it just seemed like a burden to her again. I don't think that was all of it but it is a lot of pressure in a way.

 

I actually have resentment toward my father as I think he handled a lot of things in my middle sister's most formative years in an immature and small-minded way that impacted her relationship with the rest of the family. She is close to my mom and my mom did everything she could, but she could only do so much and my dad both failed to do things he should have done, and actively did things he should not have done, to express a preference for my oldest sister and me, and to express disdain for my middle sister, and it is just incomprehensible that an adult man could be so petty to his closest family members.

Edited by Lecka
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Thanks, All.       I've enjoyed reading and learning from you all in this thread.

 

As I'm reading all of this I'm thinking...."But these are WOMEN pursuing the relationship with their siblings!.......what will my son do as an adult to maintain his relationship with her (daughter)?........what do grown MEN do in this regard?......maybe I should ask these ladies to tell me about THEIR husband's relationships with siblings who are much older or younger than they.........".

 

It seems men in general are less into sibling relationships than we ladies.  I'm guessing my daughter will be the pursuer of their relationship (work to maintain it, stay in contact, etc.).   I sure hope they become and stay close.

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Thanks, All. I've enjoyed reading and learning from you all in this thread.

 

As I'm reading all of this I'm thinking...."But these are WOMEN pursuing the relationship with their siblings!.......what will my son do as an adult to maintain his relationship with her (daughter)?........what do grown MEN do in this regard?......maybe I should ask these ladies to tell me about THEIR husband's relationships with siblings who are much older or younger than they.........".

 

It seems men in general are less into sibling relationships than we ladies. I'm guessing my daughter will be the pursuer of their relationship (work to maintain it, stay in contact, etc.). I sure hope they become and stay close.

I wrote earlier about my sister who is 12 years older. Now I will write about my brother who is 11 years older. We have a good relationship. We don't communicate as much but we do communicate a few times a year. He lives far from me but we get together at least once a year. Just like with my sister, I did not grow up with him and got to know him once I went to college.

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If there's a >10 year age gap between you and your sibling (and you and that sibling are both adults now), please tell me about your relationship with that sibling. When there’s such an age gap and you spent (relatively speaking) less time at home together than you would have if you both had been close in age, I’m curious what effects this has on the outcome of the future/adult relationship.

I’d like to know:

What are your and your sibling's thoughts on the quality of your relationship now that you're grown?

There is zero to almost zero relationship between me and any of them. (They are a 3 sibling cluster, 9 and 10 months apart. The youngest and only heir is 10 years older than me.)

How often do you see one another?

2 I've seen 2-3 times in the last 10 years.

Are you close? (emotionally and distance)

no.

How often you speak?

Rarely.

How affected you are by his/her presence(or absence) in your life?

idk. I mostly feel like an only child, so...*shrug*

​Were you always close/distant? what factors led to this?

It was always like this to me. My siblings have a completely different view, which is both bizarre and doesn't matter to me. They were all out of the house by the time I was in kindergarten and never once participated in my life other than to make me miserable on ocassion if I crossed patches while they were visiting out parents. Yet they think they know all about how I was raised and all about me. Why? Combo of crappy parents and very different adult lives.

​How thankful are you that he/she is in your life?

They aren't in my life and it's okay. Preferred even. I don't wish them any ill will. But we never were particuliarly close to start with and I try to give my children a completely different comfort zone of healthy relationships.

​Were you both homeschooled (homeschoolers tend to spend more time with siblings)?

lololololol hell no. I really can't picture either of my parents ever being that interested in any of our educations or our persons in general.

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Now before you go crying that all hope is lost...

 

I have many children and none of them feel this way, even about the siblings they tend to frequently butt heads with. All of my oldest 6, 3 graduated, are mostly kind and supportive to each other and their much younger siblings. Now, they sometimes bicker and drive each other nuts, but it's gotten over fairly soon and doesn't change their relationship. So far anyways.

Edited by Murphy101
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I have an older half brother that is 10 years older than me too. He and I aren't close (we were closer when we were kids) but he didn't live with us full time and was never expected to be our primary or even part time caregiver. Mostly, he was just fun to be around, introduced us to music, etc. My younger brother and I adored him and loved going to his college football games and graduation, etc. Still, we mostly keep up with each other on Facebook. I didn't attend his first wedding and won't be attending his second wedding this year b/c of logistics/physical distance.

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Mine are 12, 14, and 16 years older.  The older two, brother and sister, got married when I was 5.  The younger helped raise me since my mom went to work when I was little.  She was always a second mama to me more than a sister. We lived completely different lives. They grew up as a sibling group with a stay at home mom.  I became a latch key kid when dsis finished community college and went to university.

What are your and your sibling's thoughts on the quality of your relationship now that you're grown?

We never talk about it.

How often do you see one another? 

One I never speak to or see.  One is a couple of times a year.  One is helping me care for my elderly father so we text at least weekly, talk a few times a month, and see each other on occasion.

Are you close? (emotionally and distance) 

No, different states.

How often you speak?

See above

How affected you are by his/her presence(or absence) in your life?

Younger ds was like a mama, older brother was my idol...I went to his alma mater and worked for his company some in my younger years.

​Were you always close/distant?  what factors led to this?

Relationships have ebbed and flowed.  There has been some drama, but mostly just life.

​How thankful are you that he/she is in your life?

My younger sis is helping take care of dad.  There are no words for how thankful I am for that. (Ds is an only and I feel SO bad for him having to go our aging alone.)

​Were you both homeschooled (homeschoolers tend to spend more time with siblings)?

Nope, neither.

​and whatever else you think to share! 

​Please add some basic info about how many siblings you had, birth order, ages, etc. for good measure!   :-)

I'd be happy to share more if you have questions via PM

Edited by Joules
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My husband is 10 years older than his little brother and left for the Army when he was 18.

 

And yet they are pretty close. They talk on the phone. My husband really likes him and has very fond memories of what he was like as a little boy. He really looks up to my husband also.

 

They don't talk frequently but when they catch up they will talk on the phone for an hour.

 

What I see with them is there is no sense of "oops we haven't talked in a while" -- they just randomly call each other and talk for an hour.

 

At holidays if we are together though ----- my little BIL is really much more part of the group that is: the younger cousins and the oldest nephew.

 

He hangs out more with his nephew than his brother and sister -- who are old and have kids, to him, I think. He is not that much older than my oldest nephew and they grew up seeing each other a lot, he is like a big brother to the oldest nephew.

 

So that is how the groups split up at holidays, but we are just at the point where my husband isn't needed to actively watch our kids when we are at non-child-proofed places. That makes a difference. Usually me and my ILs make a point to babysit so they can go out, if it is like that.

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I was not homeschooled but we did have a tight knit family.

 

My brother is 12 years younger, he was 9 when I moved away. We have lived 15 hours away for almost 18 years. We use to talk on the phone a lot and he would come visit me for a week or two in the summers. I'd say we were pretty close until he got in a serious relationship. We still talk and text semi-regularly, but it's different now.

 

I think all but one of our other siblings considers themselves to be close to the "baby". He and the brother that is is just 9 years older and lived at home the longest really clashed. They have similar stubborn streaks and struggled to get along. For the longest time we joked that the baby was the family mascot.

 

Congratulations on the new baby!

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I have three siblings more than 10 years older than I and two that are 8 and 6 years from me.  I am very close to the sibling 13 years older than I and the sibling eight years older than I..  I see the 13 year older sibling three to five times a year because we live hours apart verses days apart..  I text frequently with three of my siblings and likely because they have text.  My oldest sibling and the one that is 10 years older than me, are less involved in my life.  I still see them once a year, my family is scattered across the USA.  I rarely am in contact with them outside of the one year visit simply because of geography and life..  We all stay in contact via FB but none of us post much.

 

I don't remember my siblings 10 years+ much growing up, although they all have many stories of me being a pest. ;)  I think the reason I am closer to the 13 year gap and eight year gap sibling than the others is personality.  However, I am very thankful for all of them and know that if there are crisis, they will come to the rescue.  Life has taken some hard turns and I can count on them and they me. 

 

None of us were homeschooled.

 

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I have 5 siblings 10 years older than myself. (I'm the baby 8 living children)

 

I have zero contact with any of them.  The last time I saw any of them was at a funeral. The next time I see them will be the same.

 

We have nothing in common other than our familial connection.

 

My older siblings are all in close aged clusters, and each are BFF with their similar aged sibling.  They are also close with their other siblings.  My parents were each married once before and had families.  Then they got together and had me. My dad was 47 when I was born, my mom 29. I am the only child with my combination of parents.

 

3 siblings are 19-22 years older. (My dad's first family who I only met 2x)

 

2 are 10-12 years older (mom's first family)

2 are 6-7 years older. (mom's first family)

 

I am the lone younger child who was raised as an only child after the age of 12.  My large family dispersed as each one aged out of the home. When I was 10yo, my father reached retirement. My parents and I started traveling a lot and lived in 6 states in 6 years (one sister was with us for a while).  I have very, very different experiences that my siblings did growing up and that has not changed as adults. 

 

I think the biggest block in our relationship is that we weren't raised in the same home and didn't live in the same town. I didn't have a relationship with them, because I didn't see or talk to them.  If they called, they talked to my parents.  If they visited, I would see them for a few days during vacations.  We didn't have any real connections to reminisce about.

 

They were all close to 10+ similar age cousins, who I never met.  I had zero family my age.

 

They were all raised in a single large house in a small town. I was raised in anything from a camp trailer in a camp ground, to an apartment in the large cities. I never knew where I was going to live month to month.

 

They were raised as a group, with large family dinners and deep family connections.  They all moved out as they turned 18, so after the age of 12, I was an only child (they lived in different states).

 

I went to religious private/public.  My siblings went to public only. (They considered me a prissy religious girl because I went to a strict religious school)

 

I was raised to be very independent, my siblings are all very dependent on my mom/each other.

 

I am Norwegian fair skinned, blue eyed blond.  They are NA with dark skinned, dark hair, dark eyes.  We don't look, or even talk alike. 

 

They always treated me like a baby. The never realized that I grew up.  There was a while that I seriously tried reconnect with them,  in my mid-twenties when I had 2 kids.  They still kept secrets from me, and only told me information you would tell a child. I still got modified stories, still was purposefully left out of the loop on current family events. One sister would sometimes tell me "I was told to not tell you this, but .....". It usually involved someone needing money, and she was the only sister aside from me, who had any.  If she didn't tell me the situation, then she would have to be the only person financially contributing.  She wasn't telling me to be nice. She would just tell me to get me to help cover someone's financial need.   I soon figured out that I would never be one of them, so I stopped trying.  They never reached out again (unless there was money involved).

Edited by Tap
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I have a half sister who is around sixteen years younger. I see her once a year. We are not extremely close, but I am very glad to have her. I am a late bloomer, having come finally to parenthood at forty one. So, she ends up being the one with similar-age kids. We have a lot in common!

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I have a sister 12 years younger than me - my other sister is 3 years younger.  We were not homeschooled and I moved out of home when I was about 18, so she was still a little girl.

 

When she was a baby I spent quite a lot of time caring for her, and I liked to take her around with me as I got older. 

 

I don't feel like we are that close now, though I wouldn't say we are distant either.  I suspect we would be closer as adults if we had lived near each other as adults. However, she went away to a different city for university and we have never lived in the same city since.  She and my other sister lived in the same city for a while and have spent more time together as adults - however, my middle sister can be more difficult in some ways to get along with than I am.

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I am sixth youngest of seven kids.  My next sibling is 8+ years older and I have three siblings 10+ years older than me.  My oldest brother 15+.  I have no memory of him living at home as he left at 18.  But i do have a relationship with him now that we're all adults.  In fact, I have a close relationship with all my siblings.  I will say I sometimes felt like i had more than one set of parents. :)

 

I have a very close relationship with my sister 13+ years older and my brother 10+ years older has been one of my closest siblings through the years.  So age isn't the only factor in sibling relationships. :)

 

 

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