There are special challenges that come with having children that are a good number of years apart. My girls are 7 years apart: 10 and 3. I know when they are 37 and 30 it’s going to be no big deal, but, believe me, the gap between preschooler and 5th grader is HUGE. LG (Little Girl) would be chained at the hip to BG (Big Girl) if she could, and BG would give up her allowance for a year to ensure some quality time by herself. Alone. Sans baby sister.
I try to encourage a balance between together time and independent time. I get that quality time with a 3-year-old isn’t exactly top priority on an-almost-middle-schooler’s to do list. Thanks to a random repeat of Supernanny (Go, Jo!), I was given a fantastic little idea for limiting the knocks and yells through the door for BG, and also limiting the rejection LG gets when BG tells her she doesn’t want to play right now. It took a little while, and several time out’s, for LG to grasp that she needed to obey the sign, but she eventually had her own little Ace of Base moment and saw the sign.
It’s working well, and I think it means a lot to BG to know that she has control over her private space. She doesn’t have to jump to the defensive every time her door flies open, unannounced, and her sister comes barreling in. However, I did tell BG that I expect a certain amount of “GO” time. If I see that it’s been on “STOP” for many walk-bys in a row, I will tell her to consider changing it. So far, I’ve only had to have a “how would you feel if…?” talk with her once since putting up the sign.
Bonus for me, I got to play with my Cricut and my Stampin’ Up stuff. It was fun and practical! Go figure!