1. Oldmanofthemountain

    Oldmanofthemountain Member

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    Users here that siblings with large age gaps, what is your relationship like with them?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Oldmanofthemountain, Jul 1, 2020.

    For those of you that have much older or younger siblings, what is your relationship like with them? My definition of a “large age gap” for this discussion is 10 or more years, your junior or senior.

    For reasons I can’t find the words to put on paper, I really find relationship dynamics between siblings with large age gaps really fascinating. I’m thinking about writing some interpersonal drama story between a teenager and their adult sibling.

    Nothing is set in stone yet, but perhaps their parents have recently passed away in an accident or something. Thus forcing the teenager to live with their adult sibling. I picture their previous relationship as loving yet a bit distant.

    They probably haven’t stayed under the same roof for more then a week, in over a decade. It’s quite plausible that the teenager doesn’t even remember their older sibling ever living with them. Not to mention that they in vastly different stages of life. The teenager is still in high school, while the adult is married and has a number of children of their own. In fact, the adult sibling’s oldest kid is probably only a few years younger then their uncle/aunt.

    Maybe this causes some issues, as they don’t know to relate to one another. To make matters worse, I’m picturing the older sibling making attempts at parenting their younger sibling, as they do with their own children. Which puts them at odds with the independent minded and semi rebellious teenager.

    I just want to hear some input, that would me create a convincing dynamic between my two possible characters. Any responses will be appreciated.
     
  2. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Pretty much. I'm the youngest, my two sisters are 9 and 11 years apart from me. My sisters not only moved out but moved away until I was older so I didn't see them often. I would say I grew more like an only child and they were more like close aunts. I do have nephews almost the same age difference from me that I am from my sisters.

    I wouldn't say it was ever awkward, they were always part of the family even if we were never really close like close-age siblings. They moved back in for short periods of time and living with them felt natural whereas it wouldn't have with others. When they both moved back to our hometown and I was old enough, we eventually forged a relationship whereas we couldn't really before. I talk to both regularly now, much the same as other siblings closer in age do. I get along with both of them better than they get along with each other despite them being only two years apart. They have clashing personalities and lack similar interests.

    One of my sisters does still act a little aunt-ish. Though I think that just has to do with us being at different stages in our lives. She married someone older and now has step kids that are my age--haha. I think she acts the same with them as me on a day to day basis.
     
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  3. Larro

    Larro New Member

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    Only 8 years between me and my youngest sister but I'll share anyway. We weren't close at all as we were at different life stages - I was dating when she was watching Toy Story. I had to play mum a bit to her. I resented being the eldest sister as I was the one who had to help with the ironing and washing up and cooking etc., whereas my sisters got away with doing nothing. Although it was only 8 years difference there was also a big difference in the way we were parented. Smacking was 'ok' when I was younger, but when my sisters were little it was not. Now we're both adults and she is the one of my three siblings that I am closest to. There is still that motherly kind of bond as she will come to me with problems that she wouldn't share with others, but mostly we are great friends because we have similar peronalities, which I didn't realise back then as I was too busy being wrapped up in all my teenage angst.
     
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  4. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Oh, you talking about different parenting styles definitly reminds me of my experience. My sisters resented me a little I think. They were born when my parents were essentially teenagers (18-19) , were dirt poor, had anger issues, etc. I grew up when they were upper middle class and their parenting style is best described as lasseiz-faire (aka, they mostly just left me alone). No spanking, more money, my mom had worked through some of her mental issues, etc. My college was completely paid for while my middle sister had to join the military to get her college funded. Things like that. They didn't really talk about it much with me but there was a point where they were more obviously disgruntled by it.
     
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  5. Ted Catchpole

    Ted Catchpole Member

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    My sister was 15 years older tha me, she died when I was 17 but was always a lot more sibling-based with her than my brother who was 14 years older than me. With him he was more paternal. He taught me to read, and to tie y shoes.
    Also I got in a lot of trouble when I was a kid (16 ish) and he bailed me out and guided me a lot.

    So now I am, older and more responsible he does not like to be argued with or debated with.

    It is sad because it is stained now. You know when [people say "We are very different but I know he loves me and would do anyting for me?"

    I do NOT have that. I sense he would get pissed off and choose a casual aqaintance over me.
     
  6. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Creature of Quarantine Contributor

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    My sister is 8 years younger, but even then, for a long time i dont think she ever saw me as her sister... More like another parent. Now that she is a young adult, we have a more sibling relationship.
    ETA: when my brother and i were going away to college, my mom was preparing her for when we would move out. My sister says "ill just live with them" and my mom says "they wont wont together, they will move out and each have their own homes and you have to live here with me and your dad" and she got really sad because, up until that point, she thought we would always live together and even if we moved out, she thought my brother and I would still take care of her.
    Shes over this now, obviously, but still.

    My husbands brother is 18 years older than him. He says when he ws a kid, he saw his brother as a care taker or another parent. Their dynamic changed as he got older. He says they've always been close, but now he feels like he and his brother are on the same page now. He says that because his brother is so much older, hes taught him things about life that a sibling clser to his age wouldnt know... For example, job hunting, advice about dating, driving, etc. Stuff you wouldnt feel comfortable talking to your parents about, but comfortable talking to a sibling about even though they are an adult
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020 at 7:08 PM
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