Eldest and Middly are quite close in age. One if the ways we’ve tried to help Eldest feel confident in his role as the oldest brother has been The List.
It’s a slightly bizarre list of privileges and special things that come with reaching certain ages. We tried to choose things that required little in the way of maturity since you can’t always expect maturity to come with age.
After Baby was born, we went back and added things to the lower ages, so we had one for every birthday.
1) Choose a meal on special days (since we always have a meal plan we regularly have weeks when the children pick meals to have, when Baby reached one, we figured he was old enough to have a pick in there too).
2) Pour juice.
3) Spread jam.
4) Choose your own clothes after school and at weekends.
5) Pause the TV.
6) Sit – on the correct car seat – in the front of the car sometimes.
7) Get an electric toothbrush.
8) Light candles under supervision.
9) Turn on the computer – though Mum & Dad might ask you to turn it off again if you chose a bad time.
10) Get an approved pet.
11) Get a mobile phone.
12) Get a front door key.
13) Get a laptop or contemporary equivalent.
14) Choose your own bedtime.
15) You may use your computer alone in your room (currently, all electronic devices remain downstairs at all times).
16) You can choose your own clothes to buy.
17) Mum and Dad will fund a couple of days away for you and a friend – details to be agreed.
18) You can come and go as you please, but Mum and Dad don’t promise to fund all excursions.
The boys love the list. Even though not everything on it is exciting in itself, the fact that it’s only available at a particular age makes it special. It remains to be seen whether it’s as popular when they get older.