We’ve reached a stage in the Four Kids household that is both expected and highly annoying~the “but why does so-and-so get to stay up late/watch a movie in her room/play on the computer” stage. Yes folks, jealousy has reared its ugly head among my younger children because either Meg or Drew get to do things that Annie and Izzie do not get to do.
The age range in my house is such that Meg and Drew got away with lots of little things for quite awhile before Annie and Izzie ever caught wind of them because they were too little to notice. Different bedtimes? Annie and Izzie used to go to bed so much earlier than Meg and Drew that they were completely unaware that their older siblings got to stay up and watch a little extra TV or get an extra story read to them. Now we here the inevitable “but I don’t WANNA go to bed so EARLY” followed usually by crying and carrying on and other such darling behavior.
This summer has really brought out the complaints from the younger kids over what Meg, especially, is allowed to do. “Why does Meg get to have sleepovers with her friends and we don’t?”, “why does Meg get to watch Harry Potter movies in her room?”, etc., etc. I realize that my 4 year olds have no concept of the age difference between them and Meg (it is 6 years after all) and can sometimes appease them with the “when you’re almost 10 you too can get your ears pierced!” or “when you’re in first grade you’ll get to stay up a bit later too” speech. However, more often than not the complaints dissolve into tears and I’m left wondering if there’s a better way to deal with these issues.
I think these issues are going to continue to plague us, especially now that Meg is heading to middle school this month. She’ll always be that much ahead of her siblings; she will hit 6 grade when Annie and Izzie are heading to kindergarten and graduate from high school when Drew is just starting. When I look at the disparity in that light I wonder how we’ll deal with it all as they continue to grow up. Meg is our test subject (as I was for my parents) whether she likes it or not. We will learn and grow with every challenge that we encounter, starting with these little bouts of jealousy that have hit our house. I just hope that our kids understand that we’re just doing our best and everything we do is for their own good.