Thread: Bad StepMom 2
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 04:48 PM
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Re: Bad StepMom 2

Oh, just wanted to chime in with one parenting multiple kids tip that I found to be a lifesaver.

Babies tend to demand a lot of attention, a lot of the time, and their needs are urgent. Everybody jumps. Pick up the baby, feed the baby, rock the baby, change the baby. Older kids are expected to wait. Now, older kids should be expected to wait, but you also can't expect little kids to feel thrilled that THEY have to wait for something they want while THAT BABY just has to peep and then everyone is jumping through hoops.

One way to alleviate this a little is to occasionally make the baby wait a little bit, and ANNOUNCE to the baby that he has to wait. This is obviously not so much for the baby's benefit as for the older child, so the older child can hear you factoring in his needs too.

Example: Baby squawks. You say, "just a minute baby, I will pick you up just as soon as I pour DSS his juice." Yes, it is a maternal impulse to grab your crying baby instantly, but look for opportunities to make him wait when it would just be for a teeny bit, and announce it. It doesn't have to be "wait while I help DSS finish his homework" but while I get him juice, while I tie his shoes, while I peel an orange for him.

And if baby keeps squawking (which he will since the baby doesn't understand what you said), you can smile at DSS and say "Baby doesn't understand that we sometimes have to wait for what we want, huh? That's how babies are. But he will learn someday."

That will help the older one feel that he doesn't ALWAYS get pushed aside for the sake of the baby, and also reassure him that your long-term goal is to raise someone who has to follow the rules, just like he does--it just can't be expected yet.

And as a bonus, I can tell you, my younger kid is WAYYY better at waiting before getting what he wants, because he got small controlled doses of it from birth.
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