For those with more than one younger child, how do you keep it from being constant mayhem? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-24-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
DeChRi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have a 12 yr old, then a 4 yr old and 20 month old. And last one due in April.  I am home with the 4 and 1 yr old most of the time.  It is chaos and mayhem.  The youngest is so incredibly spirited (some special needs here, but mostly just a handful to manage). My 4 yr old is delightful but gets Very frustrated with the lack of things we can do with the toddler. 

 

The 20 month old is just starting to get some attention span and I want to capitalize on it.  I just have no idea how to control the chaos.  We wake up, we have a routine, but they are just immediately running, jumping, dumping, climbing, throwing, wrestling, screaming.  When it is warm we spend days outside.  But I had these visions of them in the Learning Tower helping me cook breakfast, and they are throwing eggs at each other, dumping flour, hitting each other with spoons.  (All girls, btw, lol).  They are never really malicious, just busy and not into nice fine motor activities, lol. 

 

Any ideas on how to to put together our day so I feels less insane?  Or is this normal?  My 12 yr old was a calm and collected child , #2 was that way until #3 came.  I am petrified for #4!! :)  I feel like I do a poor job directing them into a good activity because I am so busy controlling the crazy and cleaning it up.  But if I can get them DOING something there will be less crazy. I think.

 

Ideas? Wisdom? I had this vision of a houseful of violin playing home schooled kids going out to tend the garden with me, and I have kids that pull the onions and beat each other with them. :)

DeChRi is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-24-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Peony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)

LOL, I'm laughing about the onions because they would be a weapon in my house as well!  So mine are 9, 5, 2.5, and 6 months this week and those that are old enough to fight, so the older 3, fight all the freaking time. About everything. "She got one more pea then I did." "You hugged her first yesterday AND today." Well, ok then. With small children I think it is mayhem, somedays it might be slightly controlled mayhem, but it is still there, add in multiple small children and... 

 

Getting out helps, and I often end up with an extra kid just to break up the kids and decrease the fighting. Other then that, I'm not thinking of great practical ideas at the moment, maybe in the morning I can. winky.gif


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
Peony is offline  
Old 01-25-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Friday13th's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Sprawl
Posts: 903
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have no useful advice, but I'm subbing this thread because I'm in the same boat. I have a 4 year old and a 19 month old. I have no idea how to manage the chaos. The younger one wants to do EXACTLY what the big one is doing, which results in eggs on the floor, all the crayons being chewed into tiny pieces, snacks crushed into the rug, playdough on the walls or all of us sitting around watching tv all day. Which I hate.


Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10) nocirc.giffamilybed2.gif

Friday13th is offline  
Old 01-25-2012, 07:18 PM
 
Just1More's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,924
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have been marveling watching my older two kids get bigger.  And I've been pondering another Mama saying to me once, "That's just not my season of life right now."    And, now I get it.

 

My four are almost 7, 4.5, almost 3, and 1, and I'm due with #5 in May.  It can be busy, but mostly it's the 1yo that makes it busy.  And, 1yo are like that.  It isn't that she is particularly hard (though is the busiest of all my toddlers), but that our household has changed and become much less friendly for a toddler.  I've been working on improving that, and today I finally sat down with the older three.  We talked about how we are teaching her to yell "no!' at us, and to be into everything and sneaky and stuff because we are always telling HER no, and taking things away from her, etc.  We talked about how it isn't fair to ask someone to do something they aren't ready to do (and I gave examples that would apply to them).  So, they are now all on board about shutting all the doors, keeping their treasures behind the baby gate, keeping the table cleaned off.  AND...that if they leave something down, she can have it until she is done...no trading, telling, or grabbing.  I reminded them that there are plenty of opportunities for her to learn "no", and she didn't have to hear it all day.  Also, if she is awake, somebody has to play with her...do something for her on her level.  Mostly, that somebody is me, and she followed me around all day (or I kept her with me).  The afternoon was SO much better...and she was SO much happier. 

 

As far as the older kids...I've just told them that they are older, and I make deliberate times and places for them to do other, special things.  We talk about what they did as babies, and what they couldn't do, and what I had to do to keep them out of stuff.  We talk about how babies learn, and how much our baby has learned already, and what we can do to help her learn faster and more.  I offer lots of compromises and suggestions, only requiring that people have a good attitude about the whole thing.

 

My kids have a lot of cousins, but are the youngest by far.  Recently we saw the whole family together, and I was amused at how little my "big kids" look.  They are still babies, too.  The last couple of weeks, we have cleared our calendar, and have been taking it easy because we have all been sick.  The littles always need that calm consistent home life, but the bigger ones can handle more in spurts.  Watching how our home runs now, compared to my friend who has a 3, 2, and 4mo, reminds me of how far we have come.

 

In short, the season now is baths, books, constant feeding, watching, protecting.  The time will come, and soon, when that starts to turn and they are more interested in building, talking, and dreaming with you.  It's been amazing to me to watch that unfold.  Each day my older ones get older, I realize how little my little ones are. 


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

Just1More is offline  
Old 01-25-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Just1More's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,924
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm going to post again, lol.  Here's some of my practical suggestions...:)

 

I keep my kids very, very busy all day.  I used to think kids should just be given room to explore and etc, but that always turns into fighting and destruction.  Well, almost.  So, from the time we get up, I'm dishing out tasks.  And, a friend once told me that she would purposefully redirect her child to examine something deeper, and not let her just rush from one thing to the next.  I have limited toys, etc, out at one time, and I do make them go play with whatever is in the toybox for 30 min to an hour.  When I refuse to play with them, and only intervene if someone isn't being nice, and I also refuse to get anything else out, it's amazing the things they come up with to do.  It's definitely good for them.

 

There's the basic stuff of getting dressed, making beds, carrying up laundry, etc.  To buy my some time with the smaller ones, I've started having my 6yo let the dog out, and the 4yo make breakfast.  (cereal, usually).  He loves being big and doing it himself, and because he's busy, I can focus on them.  I change diapers, and get them going, and to the table at that time. 

 

Then, after breakfast, they do all need to get dressed, and dd1 cleans off the table.  Sometimes I have someone get water for the dogs.  (I let our other dog out at this point...he's too crazy for dd to do).   This is also where, if they aren't engaged in something somehow on their own (which does often happen), I have the grumpy one carry up towels and put them away, or fetch a diaper for me, or put the books on the shelf, or whatever I can think of that does truly need done.  It's never a punishment, and my kids are used to being called away from play to help.  It's an imposed break from each other, but they don't know that. 

 

I will also send them to go do things.  I'll suggest to dd that she was painting her birdfeeder, did she want to finish that now?  And, ds, you should see how long you can build the train track.  I'll read to dd2, and let dd3 nurse (and sometimes put her to bed).  We've always had a trampoline in our house, and a swing hanging from the ceiling.  I'll often push dd3 in the swing while the older kids are painting or coloring or playing playdoh or something.  When the big kids are getting restless, starting from the time they can even sort of jump, I have them jump and sing the ABCs, or count to 100 on the trampoline.  Now that we live in the country, I make them run laps around the house.  9x out of 10, that turns into them swinging outside, or playing in the woods, or riding their bikes. 

 

I rarely do anything constructive with all of them.  Sometimes we watch you tube movies, or play uno (when the youngest is asleep or having a snack).  I have been weaning all but the baby off of a nap.  Dd1 usually reads the whole time, but ds and dd2 were still sleeping.  Now, I let them do something fun while the baby is napping.  It's a nice trade off, because they are still tired.  Everyone was asleep by 7:30 tonight.  After supper, I send them to put on their pajamas, and then they each have a place to go to wait for me.  I play with each of them for about 30 minutes, youngest to oldest, and they get in bed when I am done.  They can each have my total attention, and I'm not just trying to contain everything.  Tonight I played tantrix with dd1, built a marble run and did gymnastics with ds, read to dd2, and just goofed around with the baby.  Another night I might be sewing, playing playdoh, making muffins...whatever they want to do with me. 

 

 


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

Just1More is offline  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
DeChRi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks so much for the replies. I am torn between relief that my plight is common, and discouraged because no one has a magic solution, lol.

 

Just1More, great suggestions.  My 2 littlest are very much happiest when doing doing doing anything.  My 12, almost 13 yr old, is easy as can be.  I am remember back when it was just her, I had a set cleaning task list each day, and she would help me go own the list with a water spray bottle, etc.  I bet both my two little one's would love that, would help me get stuff done, etc.  I really need some structure to our day, although my personality is to rage against it.  Thanks for the ideas!

DeChRi is offline  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
DeChRi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,992
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

And on a TOTAL off note, my MIL who is awesome and local just decided to retire July 1.  Suddenly I feel far less overwhelmed, lol.

DeChRi is offline  
 

Tags
Toddlers
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off