I’m looking for suggestions on how a mom can best divide, share or even multiply her time among several little ones. My four sons are between 2 and 8 years with another on the way. I have two learning to read and write who need my time and attention for that. I find that I spend less time in puzzles and play dough with the younger two than I did when the older ones were little. I should add that my eldest has some special needs which require one-on-one exercises twice a day. Even when I am reading or we are all doing a project together, it seems to cater to either the interests of the younger or older ones and leave out the others. Karen
Probably most conscientious young mothers worry about this at one time or another.
I don’t feel that a Mother needs to be always actively participating with the child in his play in order to satisfy his need for Mother’s attention. Mother’s simple presence is usually enough. You’ll notice that when the children are small they really don’t care to be playing in their bedrooms. They would rather be in the living room or kitchen where Mother is. Our children just need to be near us. They need to hear our voice and feel our presence.
My friend Sherry, who has 12 children, suggested that what is really happening is not that Mother’s love is being divided more and more as she has more children, but rather, as more siblings are added to the family, love is multiplied because there are more people to love each child. The family is composed of Father, Mother, and children. It’s not just Mother’s love that goes around, but Father’s love and the siblings love for each other. A child in a family of twelve children has thirteen people loving him: Mother, Father, and eleven brothers and sisters–not just one Mother.
We have 7 children, ages 1-12.
Like you, we have found that most activities focus on a particular age group, but this doesn’t mean the older or younger ones don’t benefit too!
Older activities will stretch the vocabulary, comprehension, abilities, etc. of the little ones, while younger activities will provide review for the older children.
I just try to keep it balanced, and expect the older ones to help the younger ones understand and participate when the activity is aimed higher. When it’s aimed lower, the big ones can benefit from the review as they help the little ones. Either way, it’s a family affair.
That’s part of the homeschooling experience!