Meanwhile, it’s another four moms Q and A! Let’s see what we have here…..
Q. How do you like your eggs? LOL it was the first question that popped in my mind.
A. Eggs are one of my favorite foods, and I like them all kinds of ways.
I love them best in omelettes
I like them shirred in the microwave.
I like them hardboiled, then mashed and salted.
I like them over easy or sunny-side up if I have buttered toast to dip in the yolk. I don’t like them fried when the yolk is dry and solid all the way through.
I know I should break out into a green eggs and ham variation, but I just don’t have it in me at this hour.
Q: Okay, our kids are just turned 5,3,1…and I’m not pregnant!… pretty darned easy ages… for now… before more come… What’s a “bucket list” of things you would have done with easy aged littles, NOT committed to full-time schooling yet?
A. I would have worked harder at habit training, especially when it comes top putting things away when done, putting things away instead of down, and cleaning as we go.
I would give them something to think about, something to love, and something to do each day.
Q. Maybe you’ve written about this before. You have family members with food allergies/intolerances, right? Do you cook without that for everyone? Or does that person get his/her own food? Or a mixture?
A. I would say a mixture, though mostly she gets her own food. Our child with food allergies is The Cherub. Her allergies are to wheat, eggs, and corn, and the rest of us just cannot eat that way, so mostly she gets her own food. However, if, for instance, we are making chicken and dumplings, we’ll make it up to the point where we add the flour and we set aside a portion for her. Or if I am making burritoes, I will leave some filling for her to eat with a spoon. I do try to avoid corn syrup in all forms for all of us.
She does not get her feelings hurt and become upset when we eat food she can’t. That’s not to say she is never annoyed about it, but it’s not difficult for us to distract her and satisfy her with things she is not allergic to. We also try to keep some foods on hand that only she is allowed to eat, so her siblings experience what she does from time to time. For instance, we make these wheat-free, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, incredibly easy but very delicious banana cookies for her and freeze them in order to have them on hand whenever she needs a treat. Those are made with ripe bananas. This is a slightly crispier version that I like better, made with ground banana chips.
Q. Any advice for parents of a s-l-o-w child?
A. Blynken is like this, and the more we hurry him, the slower he goes. Grit your teeth a lot. Give him plenty of time to get moving. Grit your teeth some more. Set a timer. Grit your teeth again. Have small rewards for timely completion of tasks. More teeth gritting. Visit the dentist to repair the teeth you’ve worn down.
Reduce the size of tasks- instead of ten math problems, give one or two. Then do one or two more, etc.
Instead of a full bowl of oatmeal, offer just a tiny bit- two or three bites in the bowl. If it’s finished in timely fashion, there will be more, if not, do other tasks until the next ‘snack time.’
Instead of asking him to put away all the toys, mark out a specific area (between the bed and the wall, between the door and the toybox) and ask him to just take care of the things found there. Set a timer, and stay around to remind him to stay on task.
Make all of his tasks shorter, and change the sorts of things he does frequently- read for ten minutes instead of twenty, follow a reading session with something more active, but again, only a few minutes before moving on to something else. This might help him strengthen his attention span.
Q. What do you do with a child who just seems to have NO desire to obey? (sneaking, lying, laziness, correcting younger siblings, blatant disobedience abounds!). I have a 7yo, 2.5yo, 1.5yo and expecting in 6 weeks (ALL BOYS), it seems like I have constant bickering, screaming, fighting over toys, hitting, biting, correcting each other, sneaky meanness (from the 7yo).
A. This is tough. It would be best to get some advice from an older, experienced parent in your area, somebody who knows you and knows your kids.
Meanwhile, first and foremost, fill love buckets, gain their hearts, do lots of fun things together, be a good example yourself (I fail at this). I’ve read somewhere that discipline is like a withdrawal from the bank account, and encouragement and acts of love are deposits. Make sure you don’t become overdrawn in the love bank account with any of your children.
And be diligent, consistent, and firm at the same time. Don’t wait until something gets on your nerves- if you want to fix bickering, address it consistently, speedily, immediately, firmly, brooking absolutely no nonsense every time- don’t wait until you can’t stand it any more and then swoop, do your swooping right from the get-go. I like to require physical activity from fractious boys- it wears them out more quickly and reduces the over the top energy levels, plus it kind of engages all their boy-interests. For instance:
laps around the house or up the stairs
Squat and bounce
Clean a floor with a rag
Scrub a sink
Do make sure that the firstborn is not acting out of resentment from being given responsibilities but no authority. If he does have extra responsibilities, make sure he also has extra privileges. Encourage the younger siblings to respect big brother because he IS the big brother, at the same time reminding him that the Big Brother watches out for the younger brothers. Really praise him when he is working hard or showing tender affection or patience, and remind the younger ones to show their appreciation as well. Make sure to point out to him instances of his little brothers looking up and admiring him.
Also, don’t let them go off to lay by themselves until you’ve really seen vast improvements in how well they get along together. We did this with our two middle girls in particular. And then, oh, joy, they came up with a workable plan to do the same thing to address similar behavior from Blynken and Nod one weekend when the HM and I were out of town.
That’s all I have for now. As always, visit the other Moms, and feel free to share your own advice in the comments- even if you think I am all wrong- or maybe especially if you think I was wrong.=)
Kim at Life in a Shoe, homeschool grad, mama to a family of 13
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 at 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.=)