Parenting K-6 Kids/Age Gaps


What are some of the pros and cons of larger age gaps?
I have one child now whose 1yo, but my husband and I both want 4 kids. I've always wanted to have a larger gap. I think it will allow me to give each child enough of my time on bonding with me and on learning (chasing around 4 young kids means that I might not have the time or energy to go above and beyond). I also think that it might be better for their relationship with one another. I know my siblings and I were close in age and we fought like crazy, I think a bigger gap would foster more of a protective older sibling and admiring younger sibling, instead of constant fighting.
What are some downsides to a larger age gap? I know there is no perfect way to parent or family plan, but what do you think the pros and cons are?

Hi Grace,

So sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Was on vacation and forget to put on the vacation hold.

A con for having a larger gap is that you and your husband have to do contend with the baby years for a much longer time. That means you will be living on little sleep for many years in a row. Also, when the kids have a larger gap, you will have teens and not-so-teens living together. I have that now (11 and 16) . Often, during those teen years, the older sibling wants little to do with the little one, because the "just don't understand" what life is like for a teen.

Pros for the large gap: you get a break between pregnancies and don't have to try to wrangle a bunch of little ones at the same time. The older ones can help you if needed with the little ones. During the earlier years, as well as the post-teen years, there can very well be a special bond between older and younger siblings with a few years between them. It gives the younger ones a model to look up to.

Siblings who are close do fight a lot, but so do the ones who are spaced out.

I know that doesn't give you a definitive answer as to which is "better" than the other. But, I am hoping that seeing the whole picture you will find which will work better for you, your husband, and your family.

Good luck and enjoy your family!

Parenting K-6 Kids

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Leon Scott Baxter


I can answer questions about raising happy, successful children. The two are synonymous. I would love to help you help your child find his passion or strength, how to encourage your child and give her opportunities, and discuss the importance of failure, perseverance, and resilience. If you have questions about how to get your child to believe in herself or how to parent versus being her friend, I can help. I can answer questions about how to model the right behaviors for your child, and what those behaviors might be for your specific situation. I also can help you deal with excuses: excuses you may be making for your child as well as excuses he is making for himself.


I have been an elementary school teacher for seventeen years. I am also an author, known as "America's Relationship Guru". I was a contributor to "Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul". My first three books have dealt with the relationship between couples in a romantic relationship. I am currently working on a new book on raising happy and successful children. For the book I interviewed happy, successful children (Maddie Bradshaw, Caine Monroy and many others) and/or their parents. I am also the father of two girls (10 and 15). Their resumes include: business owners, authors, YouTube celebrity, fundraisers, and print models. They have appeared in commercials, music videos, have interacted with mayors, international politicians, and one was mentioned on Capitol Hill for her help in finding a cure for pediatric cancer. They have watched a Dodger's Game with Jackie Robinson's daughter, been a pen pal with Dom DeLuise, and one was an official toy tester, while the other was invited to pitch her idea to a toy company. They've had these successes while also dealing with anxiety disorders and OCD.

• • • The Santa Barbara Independent • The Valley Voice • Atlanta Parent Magazine • • Coastal Woman • Santa Barbara Parent Source • • The One World Initiative Blog • •

I received a Bachelor's Degree in Film Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and got a teaching credential from Cal State Northridge.

Awards and Honors
• Named a Ben and Jerry's Citizen Cool • KLITE Community Hero • Certificate of Congressional Recognition in Teaching • Name is on the National Wall of Tolerance • Recipient of Realiastar's "Education's Unsung Heroes" Grant • Numerous "Best Dad in the World/Universe/Galaxy Certificates/Mugs/T-shirts/Hats

©2016 All rights reserved.