It seems like managing two kids is more than twice as tough as managing one, and it only gets rougher with three or more kids in your house. When one throws a fit, the others chime in, even when they didn’t have anything to complain about! When one gets rambunctious, the others respond in kind. It can be chaos! If you’ve ever watched a room full of kids for a few hours, you understand how exhausting that can be. Here are some tips that might help out moms or dads with multiple children.
1. Let older kids wrangle the smaller ones.
It’s no secret that older kids become somewhat of a “parent” to their younger siblings. If approached properly, older kids even enjoy the responsibility. Use your older kids to demonstrate tasks and supervise your younger ones. For example, if you could instruct your eight year old to show your five year old how to dust shelves.
2. Find ways to make them friends.
When your kids are friendly, they can occupy themselves for hours with their own games. Spending time with your kids is great, but make it so you aren’t their only form of entertainment. Plus, play with other kids is healthy for them.
3. Learn how to corral them up.
When you need to get something done, you only have so many hands to do it. Come up with ways to, as I like to call it, “temporarily incarcerate.” Drop your little ones in the crib with a handful of toys for a few minutes while you’re in the bathroom or running down to check the mail. Pick up a few household gates (the ones that use tension to block off rooms and hallways) and trap them in a room so you aren’t constantly chasing.
4. Set up a project.
You can mentally occupy kids by setting up a project for them to work on at the table while you handle other things, like cooking dinner or handling some of your own work. Make it something open-ended that doesn’t require your supervision, like coloring.
5. Wear them out.
Minding a group of kids is a race to see who gets worn out first – you or them. If you can burn off that morning energy quickly, they’ll be mellow and calm for the rest of the day. Schedule likely activities for the morning, like trips to the playground or outdoor games. Even if you’re stuck inside, a game like musical chairs can get the blood pumping. Naptime will come without your insistence.
6. Reward good behavior.
The trick to coaxing good behavior out of a group of kids isn’t to bribe. Bribing is when you offer something desired after a bad behavior has begun. Rewarding is when you make it very clear what you expect and pay out when they behave. Before taking a group of kids into a store, inform them that everyone will receive a piece of gum if they behave.
7. Offer choices.
Refusals and protests are contagious. If one kid refuses PB&J for lunch, another might as well, even if the second kid only partly minded or didn’t mind at all. They band together and feed off one another. You can head off these protests by offering choices that aren’t really choices. Offer two options, even if you know which they’ll choose. This heads of arguments early.
Guest Blog by Alicia Overby - Founder & President of Baby Elephant Ears
Alicia is wife, mother, and creator of Baby Elephant Ears. Baby Elephant Ears was created out of parental concern, not financial desire. In 2005, when their second child was an infant, he cried all the time and just couldn't seem to get comfortable.
After seeking advice and suggestion from the medical community and alternative medicine, they eventually ended up in the chiropractors office where their baby was successfully treated for asubluxation, discomfort most likely the result of the strain during labor, which was now being exacerbated by the normal lack of infant neck strength. Only proper neck, head, and back alignment would offer him relief. When they couldn't find a product to give their baby the necessary support, Alicia took matters into her own hands and crafted her own infant support pillow. The first Baby Elephant Ears was born!
For more information, visit www.babyelephantears.com.
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