MamaD asks: I am a mother of 4: 26, 24, 12, and 9. I also to care of my 2 grandbabies and 3 nieces and nephew. Now…my question is HOW DO I GIVE EACH ONE MY ATTENTION when they all want it at the same time!?. They always tattling and arguing with each other! They get me to the point where I bust out in tears!!!!
Hi MamaD –
I have no doubt that you’re right, that they all want your attention. And that at least some of their misbehavior comes from their trying to get it.
But I have very bad news for you: You’re only human. And you’re only ONE human too.
So you can give each one your attention, but not all at once. No one can. (If anyone could, it’d be a dog, but even we can’t handle all this at once. I’d be hiding under the table!)
So here’s my advice. With your four kids, make a date night. Let’s say it’s Wednesday. So every Wednesday you have a dinner (or whatever works) with just one of those kids. And once you’ve done one with each of them, you start over. This way they’ll each get something like one night a month of you alone. Then make another time when you can spend time with just the nieces and nephew – either all together or just some of them, but away from your children and grandchildren. And then make sure you have time every day alone with each of those grandbabies!
Now to do this, you’ll have to pre-plan a lot. Who’s going to take care of everyone else while you’re off with the 26-year-old? Who’s in charge when you’re with the nieces and nephew?
And the rest of the time that you’re with all these kids, you’ll need to make some rules. Such as that any argument results in BOTH arguers getting sent off alone for ten minutes (or, for the older ones, maybe an hour). You simply can’t handle all this chaos at once.
But again, that involves pre-planning. This is what we dogs are TERRIBLE at. So I can’t tell you exactly how to do it, but it’s the only solution I see!
Best of Luck!
ps: And congratulations! As much trouble as they must be, how wonderful to have all these kids!!!