Siblings attend each other's events?

Avatar for cmlisab
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Registered: 09-30-2011
Siblings attend each other's events?
8
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 10:19am

Hi Everyone,

Now that both my kids are old enough to stay home by themselves for short period of time, we aren't sure how to handle situations where one of them has some kind of performance or award ceremony but the other doesn't. Given the choice, the kids would always choose to stay home instead of going to their brother's event. If it were left up to my husband to decide, he would make them go every time. I'm somewhat torn- on one hand, I am totally "for" showing support for each other and family solidarity but on the other hand, some of those events (like piano recitals and award ceremonies) can be long and somewhat boring sometimes. How do you guys handle situations like this?

What about a situation like we had this weekend where we were going to an event that my youngest son and I were mainly interested in. My oldest son wanted to stay home but my husband wanted him to go with us. As usual, I was in the middle (I was okay with him going or staying)  so I went with my husband's call/decision and he went with us. In hindsight, it was the right decision b/c all 4 of us ended up enjoying it - we went to go see Jackson Galaxy speak and have our books signed by him. It definitely seems like as the kids get older, the 4 of us don't go out and do stuff "all together" quite as much as before. 

Lisa 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 05-28-2013 - 3:49pm

Thanks so much for your affirming words. You always have something kind to say to everyone.

Avatar for cmlisab
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Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 05-24-2013 - 2:31pm

Thanks everyone! Here are some individual replies :

Suzyk2118- I like the idea of asking them if it was particularly important for the other one to be there. I guess I'm just afraid that they'll always just say no, LOL. Maybe they'll surprise me. Smile

Tripsmom16- I LOVE that your kids will just randomly show up with friends to another sibling's event- that it SO cool. My husband had a similar idea of offering to stop to get dinner or desert after the event- food always seems to be a great motivator for our boys. Laughing

Mahopac- You've definitely convinced me to adopt the "everyone goes" route for family outings- you're SO right about time together being precious and everyone going their own ways. 

Turtletime- That's a good point about taking into consideration how long/cramped a particular performance will be. I guess there's not realy a "one size fits all" rule for these situations. That being said, reading these replies leads me to believe I should be having them come to each other's stuff more often.

Kimmybabe2009- We've always done vacations together too. I liked your story about the dead presidents tour and how everyone ended up enjoying it. That's what ended up happening at the Jackson Galaxy speaking/book signing we went to- I was happily surprised that my oldest DS and DH eneded up enjoying it as much as my youngest DS and I.

Ashmama- "And to be honest, some of these events are so long and boring, I wish I didn't have to go either!"  LOL, YES!! Some of those award ceremonies can go looonnnngggg.  Love, love, love what you said about promoting accord not rivalary- that sounds like that should be a printed quote somewhere! 

Thanks again, ya'll!

Lisa 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 05-15-2013 - 7:14pm

We decide this stuff on a case by case basis.  Our goal is to promote accord, not rivalry, so anything that would work against that is optional. For example, a ceremony where one kid was getting a ton of awards, but the other wasn't would be optional. A graduation or confirmation wouldn't be.

And to be honest, some of these events are so long and boring, I wish I didn't have to go either!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 10:21pm

Our girls are only fourteen months apart and have always done many of the same things at about the same time, which makes things very different from those families where the kids are separated by several years and different pursuits. In those types of families with wider separations, I think you would need to find some middle ground.

Like Mahopac above, we enjoy going on vacation as a family. Three summers ago when our two couples wanted to go on what they termed the “dead presidents tour” where we visited seven presidential libraries (Eisenhower, Truman, Hoover, Lincoln, Jacksons home, King Elvis home, Clinton, Johnson, and Bush the father), I thought gosh this is going to be SUPER BORING, but it was really fascinating. So fascinating that we have visited a few other presidential libraries and homes and are planning to visit others in the future. (NO they don’t display Monica’s blue dress at the Clinton Library. That is a false rumor circulated by “the vast right wing conspiracy.” LOL And NO I did not ask where they keep it either. Shame on me.)

My mother has always told me that these years with the kids are “our golden years” and I believe that she is correct.

Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 4:23pm

Our kids 12 and 16 go to most of their siblings big events. They may not be able to make EVERY basketball game and they wouldn't see every performance of a play (which can range from 5 to 90 performances.... we, as parents, would only go 2 or 3 times ourselves.) I'm not sure we've ever left a child at home because they didn't want to attend an award/game/performance thing. If they miss, it's because they have a conflicting commitment and they tend to fee badly about it.

That said, the kids are busy. We have to split up a lot just for logistics sake. There are certainly things DH and I I do seperately with one kid or another. We have a lot of shared (and geeky) interests though and so that lends itself to activities together. We don't tend to leave a kid home unless what we are doing requires sitting and waiting.

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 3:59pm

It really depends on the event and the configuration of who is at home.  Our kids are college junior, HS senior, and 7th grader.  The things that get factored in are:

  • How significant is the event?
  • How many people per family can attend?
  • What else would the other family members be doing while this is going on?

When our oldest was still in HS, we usually left the youngest at home with a sibling for routine things like school concerts or long events with cramped quarters like karate tournaments.  Once he went to college three years ago, DS had to come with us to everything the middle child had - concerts, recitals, awards ceremonies, etc.  The older ones don't come to all of his recitals and concerts but he doesn't seem to care if they do or not, as long as DH & I are there. 

Generally I favor "everyone goes" for important sibling events like graduation, first communion & confirmation, concerts with solos, etc.  Almost all outings are "everyone goes" too.  Occasionally there's a movie that 18yo DD & I want to see that's inappropriate for 12yo DS, in which case we'll go together (Sunday night three of us went to see "The Great Gatsby," the other two went to "Iron Man").  Generally speaking though we all have similar interests, so everyone goes to classical music concerts, movies, ballet, Shakespeare plays & Broadway shows.  The exception so far has been baseball - the older ones have ZERO interest, and since the tickets are so expensive, we're happy to leave them at home.

We all do vacations together too.  People always seem surprised that DH & I have taken our kids to California, England, Scotland, Ireland, etc., but we enjoy doing things together, and DH & I don't want to leave them at home while we go anywhere for more than a day or two.  Time together is precious, and soon enough everyone will go their separate directions.  We want to enjoy the time we have together while we have it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2012
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 3:07pm

I love that you asked this question, because I still wonder what good rules are about this.  We have three kiddos who are the same age and who are involved in totally separate activities.  At first, we all went to everybody's everything and it was crazy busy.  As they started driving, that seemed to naturally change.  Now our general rule is that you have to go an event that has real importance to your sibling...  ex:  a District track meet, at least one home baseball game when sibling is pitching, percussion recital, etc....  We don't even really have to enforce this as they know what is important to each other.  The real benefit is when they just decide to show up at random events, and bring friends, to things that we don't view as "big."  I think you are doing a great job teaching them to support each other and as a family you will all know when it is important to go together.  I have found that if we offer to buy dinner after some special outing, it will almost always ensure that everyone wants to go !! 

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 1:06pm

I only have an only, so can't comment directly, but from the parent viewpoint I can say that as ds got older it was our way of also splitting up dh and me, as far as participating in/watching things we liked vs. always all 3 of us going to everything together.  Sometimes ds got to decide if he wanted both of us there, etc.  Maybe leave it up to the kids? Meaning if one really wanted the other there, point that out to the other and see if he's willing to join vs. just letting him choose?

Sue