WT 177: Your Most Popular Questions from the Summer Answered
We got a ton of questions from you guys over the summer and on today’s show we’ve picked out 5 questions that seem to come up over and over again. From sibling rivalry and sleepovers to meal time and bed time shenanigans, Karen and Sunny tackle it all.
Mentioned on the Show Today:
Episode 151: Sibling Rivalry
Question 1: On episode #151 about sibling rivalry you talked about letting them “figure it out” when did you start this? My older two are 4 and 6 and I’m not sure when to get involved and when to let them “figure it out’?
Karen’s Answer: Honestly, I’d let them figure it out as young as possible, but for sure by the ages of 4 and 6. My grandchildren are 5 and 3 and they figure it out. Now, when your children are younger you as a mom are “hearing” things in parts of the house. So, when you do hear things, call the one that is instigating into your room or where you are and say, “Are you playing nice? It doesn’t sound like you are playing nice. Go be nice.” But, when they come to you tattle telling, say, “Unless I see broken bones or there is blood you guys work it out. If I get involved everyone gets in trouble. No one likes a tattle tell”.
Question 2: Did you let your kids do sleepovers? What were the rules you had surrounding them?
Karen’s Answer: Talk to your children, don’t “not” do it out of fear, but keep the line of communication open.
My rules were:
Never on a school night
I needed to know the family and they needed to know what the Stubbs rules were like no R rated movies, no internet, etc.
I tried to limit them as much as possible but when your child is in late elementary and middle school it is hard to limit.
I’d always talk to my kids before and after they went
Question 3: I would love to know how to get my yellow 4 year old to eat in a timely manner!? She just wants to talk and gets so animated having “fun” at this social gathering called the dinner table! She’s ALWAYS the last one left eating (lack of multi-tasking?) or just too distracted with fun? Help! Meal times are excruciating these days.
Karen’s Answer: Set a timer! Let her eat at her own pace, but when everyone else is finished, set a timer and say, in 10 minutes the timer is going off and you are done. Then pick up the plate and that is it for the rest of the night. No more snacks, treats or anything until morning.
You don’t want meal time to be a punishment, so I would not make a huge deal out of it. I would just let her go at her pace, then take up the food. If she says she wants more, then say, “sit here and eat”. Then you start cleaning up the kitchen. Don’t sit there with her. Try not to let it get on your nerves, when you do it makes it bigger than what it really is.
Question 4: My son is about to turn 3 and our nighttime routine is a disaster! We've followed the Moms on Call suggestions and schedule since he was born, so we do the same thing every night in the same order. The problem is, night time is the only time my husband spends with our son (he's gone before we get up). My son wants to play with his Daddy and not listen to my husband when he tells him to get in the bathtub, or put on his PJs etc. My husband gets SO frustrated with him when he doesn’t obey right away! So he’ll go to time out, or have a toy taken away which results in a meltdown...and then the clock gets pushed back for him actually getting into bed. I try to stay out of it since this is the only time they spend together (plus I need a break!). When my husband is out of town, bedtime is smooth as silk. What are your suggestions on how to improve our nighttime routine? I want them to have a good relationship, but each night is a disaster - help!
Karen’s Answer: This is a HARD question, and I hate to give you my answer, because I know it’s going to make your job harder as a mom, and I realize it’s already VERY hard. But, I think during this stage, I would suggest your husband do more of the “fun” things, like read a book, give the bath, and then you as the mom go in and actually put the child to bed. I know that is the last thing you want to hear, and you aren’t doing anything wrong, just the opposite, you are doing it all right and it runs smoother when you do it. Maybe re-introduce Dad putting your son to bed when he is a little older. I would walk into the room when your husband is reading a story, and say, “Hey honey, I need you to take out the trash downstairs. Give kisses and say good night, but then I need you to do that.” Let your husband give your son a kiss, say goodnight and then leave. Have Dad tell your son he will see him in the morning or the next day and then you put him to bed. Go through your normal routine, and when your son asks for dad, and he probably will, just say, Dad is helping mommy and he can’t come in here right now. Try this for a while and see if it works. I don’t think your son will act this way forever you just need to break the trend. He misses his dad, and bad behavior gets more attention than good behavior unfortunately.
Question 5: My husband and I are whole-hearted greens with a touch of blue. We are people pleasers who aren't very good at saying no to others, especially family. I am often asked if the kids can do things, like stay the night, right in front of them. I want to just say, “No, not tonight,” but that hurts my mother in law’s feelings. I want to be a mother who says no kindly, but I don’t know how to word things... HELP PLEASE.
Karen’s Answer: I had a policy with ALL my children, that if they asked those types of things in front of people and not in private, the answer was automatically no. I would tell this to my child when we were by ourselves at the house. Greg would back me up on it. If your child tests you in front of the in-laws, I would say, “No, remember our rule not to ask in front of people, I’m sorry, because you asked me in public not private the answer is no.” Then if the grandparents say anything, I would say, “I’m trying to teach them a lesson because they keep putting me on the spot with their friends. Thank you for understanding.”
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