Guest post by Renee Martinez
My just-turned 4 year-old wants so badly to be a big boy. He does everything (or at least wants to) that his three older brothers can do. When he interacts with his friends he seems older and can even get a little snippy with his mouth, giving me (or his friends) an attitude that an older child might display.
Likewise, his interests seem a little older. He skimmed through the baby shows like Max and Ruby into Spongebob. I tried to limit what he watched but it’s hard when there’s older siblings! He loves music and for the longest time kept asking to hear Fireburning by Sean Kingston (my older boys influence) or Rock the Casbah by The Clash (my influence).
Sometimes it almost seems like he had hit the ground running just so he could keep up! He is already learning how to assert himself and piping up to voice his opinions amongst a bunch of older boys, something a boy without any older siblings might never need to worry about at this age. But at the same time, he adores his older brothers. They are his instant play mates, guardians, and cuddles. So I suppose raising one son and raising many sons both pose their unique challenges - neither is easier than the other. Having four children, I always wonder about birth order. Are we satisfying their emotional needs? Would my boys be different people if they were in a different order? If they were only-child’s?
I guess I worry that kids seem to know more or be exposed to more at a young age than we did (or it just seems that way?)- and if you have more than 1 child, the younger ones are likely to do more or know more than your older kids did when they were young. I’m not sure how much if this you can really prevent. Maybe just being aware of it and attempting to preserve the littleness will help.