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Mothering all the stages at once

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi!
I need any and all suggestions! I have 3 children ages 11, 7, and 3 and now that its summer I am going nuts having them all home. My older two just want to go, go, go! My little one is getting very overtired and needs a slower pace. The boys are constantly fighting, wanting to play with friends at our house, etc. I guess my biggest issue is b/c my children are all 4 yrs apart, they are at different stages. I would love to hear from other Moms in similar situations. I am getting very tired, frazzled etc. and have no time to do anything that I need to get done as I feel I am just in "survival mode" all the time. HELP!!!
post #2 of 7
I don't have any advice for you since mine are 4 yo and 22 months, but as I found myself thinking "wow, now if she only had an newborn imagin what life would be like." Sorry if that gives you chills of fear.:LOL
post #3 of 7
I am with you there! I have a 7 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 1.5 year old boy. They are all different, but all in the same boat.

Day camp for the oldest this week has been a great thing. Everyone looked forward to hearing about her day, and the boys are enjoying a little extra time with mom.

Last week we were on a camping holiday. They love each other, but the best thing was to head to the beach in search of other families with kids the same age. I met some nice moms and dads, too, so I guess it's not just the kids who need a fresh face!

Can you think of good projects to do with the big guys when the little one naps? Today we made pretzels while the baby napped. Yesterday we painted.

Do you have a way of getting the little one on your bike? That way the big kids don't have to wait for him. Do you have a public pool nearby, or friendly neighbours with a pool? I have found that the hours go by fast with water.

How about a project for the big kids? We had a fun fair and invited the whole neighbourhood. We raised a lot of money for a charity and kids did a lot of the work.

Get a copy of "Siblings Without Rivalry" from the library. It helps, it really really really helps.
post #4 of 7
Our kids are 2, 5, 8, and 13. Your oldest is old enough to understand that life is not all go go go. I would try to help the children find a common interest. I pair the kids up 2 and 8 year old play very well together as well as my 5 and 13 year old really enjoy each others company.
I also would put each of them in charge of part of your home environment to give you a hand, not to entertain them. Limit all the summer activities so that you can relax and are not hurried.
Give them some time to relax at home without friends over, that can be a source of fighting and bickering.
I would try to set each child on a project at home from painting a fence to watering plants, building a bookshelf or birdfeeder, look at the child's interests and then provide materials.
Also a good time to catch up on reading, sounds like you are maybe trying to do too much figuring not much summer left, I hope things get better for you all.
Mary
post #5 of 7
Yes, I am with you too!!

Mine are 13, 10 and 4!!

My little one gets into trouble a lot while trying to keep up with her 10 yo brother. My 13 yo has a lot of babysitting jobs and gets tired of little kids so, my little one gets her feelings hurt when she is rejected.

Suggestions?? Well, I think it is good to get the older ones involved in an outside activity so that you can spend time with the little one. My daughter goes off every morning with her drama group to perform all over our city! My son plays golf and is gone at least 2 hours. During that time our 4 year old gets to go to the park of do something else that the others do not usually want to do.

Otherwise, just gut it out. Kids go through different stages. My older 2 couldn't stand the sight of each other a couple of months ago and now they have been playing board games and getting along really well. Your kids will strike harmony again. Until then just grin and bear it!!!:



marg
post #6 of 7
Ours are 15, 13, 10, 8 and 2. We don't do a lot of running, especially in the summer time. The younger 2 play soccer in the spring and fall (the older 2 have outgrown the league.) The older 2 (we homeschool all 4) play on the local Christian school's sports teams. In the summer, we don't sign up for any activites. Our church youth group does have some outings and spends the beginning of the summer preparing for and earning money for their mission trip (they are in Mexico this week.) Our kids enjoy the slower pace of summer, they spend most of their time either inside playing games with one another or outside in our yard or the neighbor's yard. We do have a small pool so that keeps them occupied as well. We're hoping to get one that's a little bigger next year.

I think it's so important for kids to learn to entertain themselves, to enjoy their own company and that of their siblings. I feel like our home is a haven from the outside world and a comfortable place to be and our kids bear that out, they enjoy their times out but like to be home, too. Our boys are 15, 8 and 2 and can often all be found in the same room, the older 2 watching a ballgame or playing a video game and the 2 year old happily chattering with them (or holding the broken controller and pressing buttons like mad! LOL.) Our girls spend most afternoons in their room together if they aren't outside, talking, playing a game or watching Trading Spaces, they love that show!
Sue
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Ladies!
I want to thank you all for the practical suggestions and your understanding. This week the best thing happened.......I fell and broke my hand while rollerblading with my family. I am joking about it being "the best", but my kids have been more helpful and this has allowed us to stop running all the time. We have been staying home more and playing around here which has been fine. Yesterday I made up a "scavenger hunt" for them and they each had to find 10 things in the yard or home.
They broke up into teams and loved it.
I am a strong believer in limiting video games, computer, TV and would love to hear how you all deal with this issue.
Thanks,
Jan
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