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When will it get easier having 2 kids?

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#1 avocado toast

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:05 PM

I have a 3 year old and 1.5 year old and I’m home with them a few days a week. They do my head in with the constant fighting over toys. I dread my days with them! I’m hoping it will get easier when LO is 2 but I feel like it could also get worse as she will start fighting back more.


#2 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:39 PM

I have a 5yo in full time school, and a 1.5yo home with me a few days a week. When the 1.5yo is alone with me, he needs me to be beside him 90% of the time. When DD is home, they fight over toys/who is occupying which big of space 90% of the time. It’s exhausting. So no advice, just commiserations.

#3 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:40 PM

Buy 2 of eveything.

It won’t get easier, until they are in school, then it’s someone else’s problem. Lol.

Actually, it’s won’t be all bad. I have a close age gap too and two boys. They don’t fight a lot. I do actually buy two of things whenever it’s practical, that saves arguments. I make them take turns. I’ll get out two equivalent but different things and make them swap after a while. My neighbour uses an egg timer, once it dings it’s the other child’s turn. I thought that was a great way to do it, and a few minutes is a good time frame for young kids. If they refuse to cooperate, which is rare, I’ll banish them to separate rooms. They hate that, so generally get along. Also, if I sit down and play with them there are less arguments.

#4 Caribou

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:46 PM

I have a 7yo and a 2yo.

When the 7yo then 6, her little brother adored her my little ponies. she wouldn't let him play with them, but apparently it was just fine for her to play with his duplo.

So, a friend of mine gave me advice, I tried it out. while DD had her set of ponies, I got DS one my little pony. and oh, boy, did DD want it? oh, yes she did. She 'traded' him for a pony. I reminded her that it was his, and she had to share if she wanted to play with his toys.

It was an effective lesson in sharing for the most part. the duplo is difficult now days, but DD does have to be reminded that is is DS lego, and she has her own grown up lego. however, i do have a large duplo collection because its so good at keeping the kids busy.

if anything, my final advice would be to have less of everything. the less there is, the less there is to fight about stuff. the more they need to share things like duplo, and minimise everything else really. and secondly, maximise outdoor play. I find there's less fighting going on outside. not sure why, but they do play better outdoors than in.

#5 Poughkeepsie

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:48 PM

When you have three! 😁 Sorry, I’m being facetious but also honest to a degree. Going from one to two children was hard, going from 2 to 3 was much much easier. Even with all of them under 4 years old, I found it easier as it gave the older 2 someone to be with if I was stuck with the baby.

Anyway, I guess it also gets a little easier as the older ones hit school-age and you get one on one time with the youngest. But the fighting never stops...my preteen and teen children will be perfectly content with each other until they’re not! And then it’s over something ridiculous and petty (like toys, but big kid ones!). They get over it soon enough though and are besties again until the next perceived infringement 😁

#6 Majeix

Posted 29 July 2019 - 03:54 PM

My 15 and 9 year old still argue. Not over toys well except occasionally over who owes such and such. Now their arguing over who is in said space, who got larger x, and my personal favourite who was arguing with who. That said it changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It does change, there are better periods and worse periods. There are moments where you are so grateful for them and others not so much . These feelings will pass if fleetingly...

#7 steppy

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:07 PM

For us it improved drastically when one moved out.

#8 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:11 PM

separating them is key i think....get one off to kindy or day care ....or both, maybe at different places!

#9 Kreme

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:17 PM

I have a 17 month age gap between my 2 and I was home with them full time until they went to school. My younger one was quite clingy when he was little and it started to improve when he was around 2, which was the same time that my eldest started preschool 2 days per week, which I am certain was related! I think he just needed one on one time.

#10 Dianalynch

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:29 PM

When the youngest started school, before that I just hung in there for a few years. Barely.

It does get better every year though.

Edited by Dianalynch, 29 July 2019 - 04:30 PM.

#11 newmumandexcited

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:33 PM

Ha see my post about three.

#12 Hollycoddle

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:39 PM

I have a 3-year age gap, 2 boys, 8 and 11. It hasn't ended yet here. I'm hoping once the 11-year-old crosses into the teens he will show less interest in niggling the younger one when bored, as the younger tends to be much better when left alone to do his own thing. It's frustrating as the older should know better, he should be able to see how much harder it makes things for me and how much more unpleasant it is in the house when everyone is cranky (first DS2, then me, then DS1 after I rouse on him for stirring).

Edited by Mollycoddle, 29 July 2019 - 04:39 PM.

#13 tenar

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:43 PM

We have mostly used the strategy of make yourself (ie the parent) the problem, resulting in the kids teaming up.  We also make an effort not to behave as parents in a way that is divisive of their unity.

You have to do this in an age appropriate way and sometimes it ends up a bit contrived.

If one kid or the other behaves in a way that is clearly inappropriate you intervene with appropriate logical consequences.

If you can't determine clearly who started it or who is being more horrible, step in but make yourself the problem.  When mine were little (girls 2 years apart) I tended to swoop in with something like "you are shouting and that bothers me.  Since you can't play quietly with that toy (ie the one they are arguing over) I'm going to put it away"

This has a couple of effects.  Firstly it encourages them to learn to play nicely together, with consequences they don't like for not doing so.

Secondly it encourages them to not view each other as the baddie, but rather the baddie is me.  That has them siding together in their common desire to play with the thing.  They end up a team, which is the thing I want to encourage.

So far (they are now 8 and 10) they play together really well for the most part.  They are not perfect and they do squabble and argue at times.  But that's not most of the time.

#14 Sincerely

Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:41 PM

View PostCaribou, on 29 July 2019 - 03:46 PM, said:

I have a 7yo and a 2yo.

When the 7yo then 6, her little brother adored her my little ponies. she wouldn't let him play with them, but apparently it was just fine for her to play with his duplo.

So, a friend of mine gave me advice, I tried it out. while DD had her set of ponies, I got DS one my little pony. and oh, boy, did DD want it? oh, yes she did. She 'traded' him for a pony. I reminded her that it was his, and she had to share if she wanted to play with his toys.

That is such an adorable anecdote & very clever!

I remember when DS was a two year old nightmare whom I couldn't control, it was DD1, then 8, who came up with creating a puppy alter ego for him called 'Dynamite'. The minute she said 'Dynamite, if you're a good pup you'll get a treat' (dried fruit), he would instantly behave. Unfortunately, once DD2 came along shortly after this, things got worse before they slowly got better.

#15 bearosauraus

Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:45 PM

For me it got easier when my youngest was 3.5ish. Mine are 15 months apart and I think that helped in a way! They are now almost 7&8 and they are so much fun!!!!

Work was my saviour. I was also a solo mum, so made the most of daycare days to take some time (even 30 mins) before I picked them up.

#16 Mumma bug

Posted 29 July 2019 - 07:52 PM

I found it got easier when I went back to work full time!

I thought it would get easier when my eldest went to school, but in actual fact it got harder because my youngest was lost without her older sister.

I thought ages 5/6 and 3 would be the magical age when it all got easier (because my eldest got better at 3) but it didn’t work out that way.

#17 Christmas tree

Posted 29 July 2019 - 07:58 PM

Op I have a similar age gap. Mine are now 3 (almost 4) and 5. The period of time when my youngest was 18 months was by far the hardest, we couldn’t go anywhere as my youngest was....well 18 months old. I remember trying to go on a holiday. Just exhausting.

It has totally gotten better. Not perfect but much much better. The kids overall play pretty well together most of the time. We can go out for a meal - nothing too arduous but Thai or pizza goes well. And nappies have gone etc.

I can totally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hang in there

#18 SplashingRainbows

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

I’ve got a 5 & 8 here. Life’s pretty good.

I recall how tough life was when the youngest was a toddler. Draining I think. Somewhat never ending.

It does pass.

#19 bandbub

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:06 PM

its gets easier with 2 when you have a 3rd and you realise how peaceful having 2 was 🤣

#20 halcyondays

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:24 PM

Oh my goodness mollycoddle- I have the same age kids and that is exactly the dynamic going on.

If the older one is out somewhere, the younger one has a great time amusing himself, and doesn’t miss his brother at all. If the younger one is out, the older is a bit lost- no one to niggle at and annoy, I guess?

#21 maryanneK

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:29 PM

oh OP it definitely gets better. My eldest 2 have a similar age gap but are now almost 4, and 5
So much better now. I found the 1-2 year age the most difficult - too old and mobile to be easy to look after like a baby, but too young to be rational and talk and play a bit more independently. 1.5 years olds are such hard work. even the difference between 3 and 4 years old has made it much easier.
Hang in there - another year or two and you'll find one day you have two little people who are good company and can just do their thing together.

#22 Lallalla

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:30 PM

Having 2 kids gets easier when you actually have 3, so 2 seems easy.... in reality though you will get some relief at 2 when they can play together more and then when your younger ones imaginative play really kicks into gear they will entertain each other for hours sometimes (mine are 3 and 5 and they’ve been doing it for a few months). Of course other days they try and kill each other and don’t get me started on having 2 threenagers in the house at once...

#23 *Arcadia*

Posted 29 July 2019 - 08:55 PM

I’m only just feeling like I can breathe again this year with the kids aged 5 & 3. The 5 year old started FYOS this year which has made a huge difference. It’s still far from perfect but much better than what it was. I hated when they were 3 & 1 it was a horrible year so hang in there.

#24 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 29 July 2019 - 09:07 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 29 July 2019 - 04:11 PM, said:

separating them is key i think....get one off to kindy or day care ....or both, maybe at different places!

This is very true for older kids. My 6yo and 8yo get on well for the most part but start to fight if they spend long periods of time together.

#25 bluesilk

Posted 29 July 2019 - 09:10 PM

Oh, I feel ya. When they're around 3 and 5 it gets noticeably easier. They ratio of playing to fighting improves remarkably and they can do more things for themselves (or one another). Hang in there. The days are long, but the years are short.

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