According to a recent study, the age difference between siblings can have a significant impact on their mental health. While smaller gaps may lead to better outcomes, larger gaps can result in poorer mental health. Gardere suggests that this trend is due to the tendency to treat children similarly based on their similar maturational stages, which overlooks their individual needs.
However, having siblings also has numerous positive mental health benefits. Research shows that siblings can provide emotional support, companionship, and a unique understanding of each other’s experiences. Gardere notes that while only children may receive more attention from their parents, siblings offer a different kind of support and companionship.
To mitigate the negative effects of close age gaps between siblings, parents should make an effort to distinguish and address each child’s individual needs and perspectives. Additionally, they should encourage a supportive and empathetic relationship between siblings by promoting open communication and creating healthy family dynamics. By doing so, parents can help their children develop strong bonds that foster emotional support and understanding among siblings.