There’s an unwritten rule of hierarchy in a house with more than one child. It may seem painfully obvious to most, without ever even seeing it, that a child with an older or younger sibling would no-doubt lead or follow. I admit I hadn’t really paid attention to the truth of it other than spouting the occasional "make sure you set a good example" to our children.

Children tend to stick by the unwritten rule of hierarchy where the older siblings unintentionally set the standard for how the younger ones do their daily routine. This can be seen in the way they dress, what they "want" to eat, and even how they play with other children.

I know, I’m not saying anything new to those who’ve become veterans of parenting. However, I personally find it fascinating (just recently in fact) how much influence my own five children have on each others’ daily routine. I give the photo above as an very minimal example. This wasn’t any special day, just a Saturday. Lena, the older one, got dressed that morning and after seeing her sister, Ellie wanted to wear what her older sister was. No big deal. It happens often. Which brings me to my point, I didn’t really pay much attention to how often it happens until recently. (Nobody’s ever called me quick witted.)

When one child becomes interested in, say, a sport, suddenly, one or two of the others become interested. As another example, Liberty was dancing for a while and though Lena, the next younger one, was not all that interested, Jack and Ellie, the last two in the five, were all about wanting to learn to dance. Now I sit back on a daily basis and try to pick out the "who’s following who" when I get home. Because in a closed society (aka our house) there are leaders and followers. And it’s not always the older ones leading the pack.

Categories: Family

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