1. The older children really do love, care for, and invest in their younger siblings.
I was just telling my coworkers the other day how glad I am that I spent so much time training the older set in our family. A small example would be teaching my older girls how to do their hair, how to dress, and how to put the proper emphasis on appearance. Rarely do I fix one of the little girls' hair or pick out an outfit. The older girls have taken it upon themselves to transfer what I handed them. They often enjoy this and it takes the pressure off of me because if a big sister picks it out it has to be awesome. This is also true of the male side of the siblings. When it comes to sports, wearing deodorant, or even how to treat ladies, there is no lack of advice. I hear words that their dad has said being mimicked on many occasions. It truly is a blessing to see in action.
4. The younger children have built-in role models.
Now, this part of the dynamic can have both positive and negative results. There have been times when idolizing a teenager who is being all that stereotype entails has had questionable results. But I have found for the most part that this has been a great tool in forming and shaping the younger ones. Watching the little ones soak up the leadership traits and character that God is developing in their older siblings is a joy that fills a parent’s heart with gratitude.
5. There is a sense of belonging between the generations.
Sitting around our table for Easter dinner you would have heard the voices of a 24-year-old all the way down to a 6-year-old sharing sweet memories. Being part of a family that can share so much history and growth because of the span of years draws each member of the family to embrace their place. This fruit of our dynamic reaps daily rewards. I have seen it give my children confidence when they feel lonely or fearful. There have been times when the Lord has placed us in situations where we were all each other had. Thankfully, as a Rossiter, you still feel like you are in a majority. What an unspeakable gift.
The Apostle John said in 3 John 1:4,
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.”
My husband and I desire that through every season and in every generation our children would seek truth and live it out to the glory of God. It is amazing to have a front-row seat to where His grace is leading our older ones, and in that same way impacting our younger ones for His purpose and plan for the future.
If you have a family that spans the ages, we'd love to read what blessings you have discovered along the way!
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