Some Commonly Asked Questions
A gal in a Yahoo group I belong to asked these questions. I thought they were fantastic and, since I get asked these same questions regularly, decided to answer them on my blog. If you have any additional questions please ask and I will add them to the list.
1. What ages are your children?
14, 10, 8, 5, 4, 21 months, 2 months
2. What role do your older children play in helping out with the
day to day responsibilities of your younger children? (ie changing
diapers, helping to get the dressed, meals, watching them, baths etc.)
My older children are required to help their younger children with a servant’s heart. This includes helping them brush their teeth, helping them dress properly for the day, pour drinks, fix breakfast or lunch when necessary, help teach chores, and help with general things like getting up and down from the table, carseats, etc. We also have the older children help the littles with school work on occassion, too. I rarely, if ever, request another child to change a diaper, although they do every so often without being asked. Not all of the above are they required to help with each day, however, these are the types of things we ask and expect of them when the need arises. To be honest, helping eachother has become a habit. The 3 older kids tend to help when they see a need without being prompted. They even help potty train the toddler on their own.
3. What role do your older children play in disciplining or
helping to train the younger children?
My oldest two, ages 14 and 10, have the authority to reprimand and train their younger siblings just as I do, although, when my husband and I are present we do the training ourselves. This makes it easier on the older children because they have more responsibilites and need the younger children to obey them to get things done. It is so important to teach my children how to train responsibly without anger and frustration as a skill for their adulthood. I have also found that since my older two have learned how to properly discipline they have come to understand and respect the need and purpose for it. They see the difference in a well trained, happy child, as opposed to a spoiled, unhappy tantrum thrower. It has been very eye opening for them.
4. Do you have any type of buddy system among your children, if so
what does this look like and involve.
We do have a buddy system. Each older child has charge of a specified younger child. Their responsiblities here are making sure their buddy is dressed properly for an outing, helping with shoes, tooth brushing, hair brushing, meal time, holding hands and guiding when we are out and about, etc…
This has become second nature for them. I see them helping their buddies all the time without being asked.
5. If you have company come over or you are over at someone
else’s home, do you expect your older children to keep a watchful
eye over the younger children so that you can fellowship with your
friends or company?
Yes and no. We have a community study on Wed. nights where our children are involved in the study with us. In this case we, the parents, take charge over our children. However, we have noticed that the good habits learned at home are quite helpful when at the group study. Our children naturally keep eachother in line by gently touching a leg when a younger is getting out of hand or whispering a correcting word in another’s ear.
When we have company over or are at another person’s houes for a study type session we request that the olders help out with the youngers with a servants heart.
Though, If we are simply visiting we request this of them only when necessary. We see importance in allowing our children the chance to fellowship with their friends, too, and try not to hinder that with added responsibilites as much as possible. Like I already said, however, the olders sheparding the youngers comes pretty naturally for them now and they automatically help out without being asked most of the time – even when it is not required of them. It is just part of being a family in their eyes.
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