WT 013: How Do I Parent All of My Kids Equally?

If you’re a mom of two or more, you’ve more than likely asked yourself before: How do I parent all of my kids equally? On this week’s episode, Karen and Sunny talk about making each kid feel special, how to say no and how to juggle all of the extracurricular activities. It’s an episode that you don’t want to miss!

Question 1: “All of the kids talk to me at the same time, trying to out-do each other and make themselves heard. How did you deal with this and make each child feel like they matter? I make them take turns but sometimes it gets exhausting having to do this every day, several times a day”

Karen’s Answer: Yes! It is exhausting and you feel like a broken record repeating yourself every day, but that is the life of a mom. When you have multiple children, all your children have to take turns being the center of attention, it’s not just on you—but on them as well.

When Emily entered school and started bring home report cards, projects, etc. of a sudden Kelsey’s little world was rocked. If Emily was showing me an A paper, Kelsey was quick to remind me that she got an A paper too last week. This is all normal and natural. I pulled Kelsey aside and told her: “I know you got an A paper last week and Dad and I celebrated that A paper. Now, Emily has done well, and we need to celebrate her.” Moms, remember, we must teach our children how we want them to behave. Thinking of others before yourself takes maturity and is a learned behavior.

Question 2: “We have three children: the youngest is only 8 months but we already struggling with the middle child scenario. The stereotype mentality really bothers me, as I was always typecast as an only child growing up. How can we treat each child as an individual without feeling like we are neglecting the others in the process? And, to be honest, without feeling like I’m losing my mind?”

Karen’s Answer: There is a reason why people put so much merit in birth order, most of the time it is true. I think it’s good to know the ups and downs of birth order, so you can be aware and try extra hard to try and break the mold.

Awareness of birth order will also help you be empathetic to the children. For example, “I know you are the oldest and it is hard on you to always be the most responsible, so today, you don’t have any chores, and your siblings do. We are going to give you a day off of being the oldest.”

Take inventory. See where you are standing with all your children and take mental notes on the adjustments you need to start making. Maybe you don’t need to be so lenient with the baby, or so hard on the first born, pay attention to that middle child. Be aware.

Question 3: “With multiple kids, how did you balance the seemingly endless request for parent volunteers for school, church and sports activities? On top of that, I am always having to attend someone’s sports game, or spend extra time with my child who needs more help with homework. How did you make each child feel equally loved and like you were equally invested in all the kid’s activities?”

 Karen’s Answer: I dealt with this many times, especially when Greg traveled. I tried to make it to all the games and events, but some were missed. I had to learn how to say “no” to parent volunteering at school and church when the kids were little. I would tell the teacher that I can cut things out at home, send in baked goods, etc, but I can’t come into the class, it was too hard.

Learn to be okay in saying no. Start with little no’s and work your way up to the bigger no’s.

One thing that helped our family was to sit each child down during the busy season and say: “Here is my calendar and yours. Tell me, what are the most important events that you want me to attend?” For example, Abby decided at the beginning of tennis season that I would attend all her home games but did not travel to her away games. She told me she would like for me to attend one away game. I asked her to pick, and then I made that a priority.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Make It Count DVD

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. If you enjoy this week's podcast, remember to share it with your friends!

As always, if you have a question about motherhood we want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question!

Thank you moms, have a great day!