Sunday, September 9, 2012

Parenting the Youngest of Many Siblings

I am forty years old and parenting a 6 year old boy - the youngest of five - and even though I have the knowledge and experience of parenting the other four, it is hard to juggle the rules, norms, independence and age while raising a young healthy, fun, beautiful six year old. I get tired more often than before and I have less patience.

Sometimes I find myself doing more for him and demanding too little; my own more complicated schedule gets in the way, so it is faster if I pick-up his dirty clothes, or dry the wet floor in the bathroom, than explaining, teaching, supervising and enforcing. Often I ask myself: how did I do it with my first girl? I was so good at enforcing, supervising, teaching and explaining back then.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are few tips that have helped me: you get organized, you use your experience and involve older brothers and sisters into enforcing and supervising while you do the teaching and explaining. The older siblings are great at it because they don't forget to tell you: "Mom: I remember you would never let me do that and you are letting him get away with it".

We have to set and maintain high standards for all our children. We have to have high expectations and treat them with the confidence that they can do it, just like their siblings did a few years ago!