The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are changing our structure, basically switching the current format of three weeks of assigned topics and one week of Q and A. From now on 3 of us will be answering Q&A every Thursday, and once a month all 4 of us will write on some preassigned topic.
To have your question considered for our weekly Q&A, leave it on our 4 Moms Facebook page.
How do you explain (to your children) about immediate/extended family who are living a lifestyle that is not in line with our beliefs. We plan to simply teach the truth and show love and grace to our families, but at some point our kids are going to ask “if ‘x’ is a sin, why does ‘so and so’ do that?” I think I’d know how to handle that if an uncle used a bad word or something, but what about larger subjects?
We have had to answer questions about why a favorite aunt and uncle are no longer married to each other, why Grandad smokes, why is Grandad married to a different lady? Again. How many wives does he have, anyway? Why doesn’t my Uncle believe in God?
I would answer “If ‘x’ is a sin, why does so and so do that’ with: “Because that is one of the ways so and so sins. Remember that we are all sinners, and If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. ”
Or if I were not interested in discussing how sinful Grandad may or not be, we go with a variation of, “We’re not going to worry about what Grandad is doing. We have to do the best job we can with our family in our home, and this is what Daddy and I feel is best for our family.”
Or… if the relative in question isn’t a Christian at all, then that’s what we say, “Because he doesn’t believe in God, and it’s hard enough for Christians to act like Christians sometimes, we don’t expect unbelievers to share our standards when their hearts are unconverted. And then we talk about what really matters.
Also, how did you attend evening bible studies without leaving your kiddos with someone else?
I confess to feeling a little bit confuzzled, like Winnie the pooh about this question. We just brought them with us. If they needed to sleep, they fell asleep in our arms, or on a blanket on the floor nearby.
But then, we have always been unconventional about bedtime. I did not know we were unconventional until a friend of my daughter’s asked her what time her bedtime was, and my daughter said she didn’t have one. This was, of course, duly reported back to the girl’s mother (I don’t know, but I sometimes imagine it was along the lines of “Why do I have a bedtime when SHE doesn’t?”). Her mother did not believe it, it was so bizarre to her.
Do you use the “buddy system” like I’ve seen on the Duggars? And if so, at what age do you pair up an older with a younger? And what duties does the older buddy do for the younger and what do you not give the responsibility for? Our oldest is 6 1/2, youngest is 6 months, (3 others in between) and we’re considering having the oldest and youngest pair up in another year or so and having the oldest help with carseat in and out, serving/cutting food, help getting dressed, brushing teeth etc.
I have never watched the Duggars or read their stuff (no reason, other than busy. We do have mutual friends in real life), so I don’t know if it is just like that, but yes, we did the buddy system. I don’t recall exactly when we started, but our family dynamic is a little bit different, because, as I’ve shared before, we had three kids with six years between kid 2 and kid 3, and then we had 24 hours notice and got two new kids who fit in that 6 year gap and turned kid 3 into kid 5.=) Life was… hectic.
It took us a while to find our feet- they came right before Christmas, and six months later we bought a large farm house and moved in and then we got chickens. And goats. And my husband went to Saudi Arabia and we…. didn’t. Then there the scabies. But anyway- I believe we began the buddy system about a year after the adoptions. Our kids would then have been 3, 4, 6(but with multiple delays), 9, and 10. The 9 year old was buddy to the 6 year old- I don’t remember why, exactly, but I do know the 9 year old always had a special affinity for the Cherub, and vice versa (Until the Equuschick got married, and I am not sure the Cherub has forgiven her yet). The 10 year old, I think, was buddy to the youngest, because we had some attachment issues to work out with the 4 year old and me. When the next two babies came along the older five girls were then 6, 7, 9, 12 and 13. The 12 year old was still buddy to the 9 year old/3red child, the older girl was buddy to the youngest of the five, and the second youngest was my assistant with babies.
Duties included making sure their buddy had shoes on when we left the house and coats and mittens if needed; getting them out to the car and buckled in; assisting with food at the table and at potlucks, and dressing them after baths. I don’t think we had them help with brushing teeth, except for the Cherub. At least, that is how I remember it.
I have said this before, but while this sort of assistance from older children is frowned on in our culture (usually by people who imagine they are open to many cultures), the idea that older children have duties and responsibilities for and to their younger siblings is standard practice in many other cultures, often going back for thousands of years. Remember that it’s not fair to give responsibility without giving authority as well.
What are your favorite dinner recipes that your families like?
I have a bunch on our family’s cooking blog, The Common Kitchen.
What age do your girls shave their legs?
I left this entirely to their discretion, which meant that they started younger and younger as time went on.
How do you approach teaching self-defense/getting the bad guys with your little ones(I’m thinking ages 3-5). I’m asking this in light of Jesus’ command to pray for our enemies. How do you direct and temper their play?
We are not pacifists. We believe it is acceptable to defend oneself and mandatory to defend the weak and defenseless. However, in general, at that age we directed them to only aim their weapons at wild animals, not people.
what are some tips for nurturing your marriage when you’re always busy and exhausted from having all littles and a newborn?
I just wrote about this last week.=)
When watching a movie as a family, how do you keep all the questions,comments, needless talking down? We are a family of four right now and I am constantly saying “sshhhh”. Do you have a no talking rule during the movie?
This is a personal choice. I am a no talking while watching the movie person myself, and eventually, our kids all figured this out. You continue the shushing, you say, “Keep watching and you’ll figure it out,” and sometimes you stop the movie to explain. And sometimes, if you have a really persistent talker who talks to just hear themselves talk, you warn them ahead of time that if they have to be shushed more than three times in the movie, they will be ‘encouraged’ to go color quietly in another room. The HG has married into a family of people who talk all the way through the movie. This baffles the HG and I, but the HG is the one who has to figure it out, not I.=)
How do you handle household chore training with little ones? My children are 5, 3 & 17mos.
I have written some about that here.
What do you do when mama is sick? I feel like I’ve barely gotten any schoolwork done all month because of illness.
We don’t get a lot done. At various times I have had to lay on the couch to direct school and housework. But we don’t worry about it overly much anymore (I used to stress over it), because I don’t believe in summer vacation. We school through the year and take breaks when we want to/need to. For example, at our house, next week is a week off of school because it’s time for us to have a week off of school. We also take off a large chunk of hunting season so the Boy can put deer on our table. When Mama is sick is a great time for the kids to learn compassion, obedience when nobody is watching, how to be helpful, and other things as well.
Thanks for your questions! I’ll try to get to more next week! Meanwhile, my oldest daughter is starting a new weekly feature here- Thrifty Teusdays! It’s a link, so feel free to join us and share your thrifted finds or your ideas on how to make the best of them. She’s been selling thrifted finds online since she was about 15 years old (before that, she sold them at consignment stores), and she will be having quite a few tips to share. Come see!
Visit the other Four Moms and see what they have to say!
Kim at Life in a Shoe, homeschool grad, mama to a family of 13
Raising Olives, married 15 years, mama to 11, homeschooling graduate herself- She’s taking a break from the Four Moms for a bit- joining us once a month for a q and A post. The rest of us are taking a break by switching to all Q and A, at least for a while.
Connie at Smockity Frocks, married 25 years, mom to 8. We were blog buddies for a year or two before we realized that we had very dear mutual friends in real life. How cool is that?!
Me, DeputyHeadmistress and former Zookeeper (I gave up keeping a zoo when coyotes and coons killed our chickens) of this blog, The Common Room and our cooking blog, The Common Kitchen; married 30 years, mom to seven plus unofficial foster mom to two little boys, Mama-in-Law to two, and Grandmama to five blessings under 3, and yes we are very proud.=)
We four moms also wrote a book together, and you can buy the Four Moms parenting book, which you can get as a Kindle or as an e-book document:
See my other Kindle books, too:
101 Answers to the Summertime, “Mom, I’m Bored” Blues; help your kids use their free time creatively and productively. Give them ideas that will help them use their time and energy to create, to learn, to grow- to contribute. This is not your average ‘keep the kids out of your hair’ book.
Required Poems for Reading and Memorizing (annotated); Charming collection of older poems that you and the kids just might love.
Ten Low-Carb Snacks and Quick Meals Okay, actually, there’s a little more than ten, and they aren’t merely low-carb, they are also sugar-free, grain-free, gluten free. NOT dairy-free.