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Parenting Tips: How to be Good Parents for Multiple Children
For many people their lives aren’t quite complete unless they start a family. Naturally there are plenty of adults that do not desire to have children but, given the annual increase in our population, there are more people having kids than not.
Having children has always presented me with questions that I never have fully answered, even though I have two kids of my own. Before any inappropriate thoughts surface let me clarify that my interest isn’t with how kids come along but more with them once they are born.
We have all probably joked about how some people shouldn’t have children. It could be because they display no parenting abilities or haven’t completely grown up themselves; this is what has always intrigued me. We are required to get licenses for just about everything that we do in our lives but having children, possibly the most important thing that we can do in our lives, requires no such licensing.
I’m certainly not advocating some agency being formed to regulate the reproduction of our societies but, the fact that literally anyone can try to have kids, shows that raising them is a job we should all have an idea how to do.
My wife and I were pretty young parents and we have done reasonably well in my opinion. It wasn’t always easy but we learned from our mistakes and both of our kids are still alive so we did something right all of these years.
As I mentioned earlier licenses are everywhere and there are tests and lessons on how to do these things properly; we all took driving lessons before we could drive. With the exception of some high schools having education classes geared towards the birds and the bees there isn’t much training for parents out there. For many would be parents they rely heavily on feedback from other parents.
Advice for Parents
I have a friend who had a daughter a couple of years ago, the first child for him and his wife. One day he called me asking for advice as his wife was in her final trimester. My advice was to read all of the books that he could find about becoming a parent. I also suggested that he quiz their parents and any siblings who have kids.
I could tell that he was receiving and processing the important information I was sharing but I had one more bit of advice and it completely caught him off guard.
I don’t think he was anticipating me concluding my lecture with the news that all of the reading, research and advice he would receive would be completely worthless when his daughter was born.
Despite what I said the best support you can get as a new parent is from other parents. Of course every child is different but diapers and bath's are pretty standard things that apply to all babies.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support group to get assistance if you are struggling with something. Most parents will be very supportive, why do you think parents don’t get too upset when someone else’s child is acting up in public? For one we are sympathetic to the struggle but we are also glad that we aren’t the one trying to calm junior down.
Do you focus on positive discipline techniques when reprimanding your children?
Raising the Kids
Where things get even more interesting is when there are multiple children involved. Parenting is a tough enough job but for each child that is added to your family the challenges multiply.
My wife and I joke when families of one child complain how busy or crazy their lives are. With our two kids things can certainly be hectic at our house so we look at these one child families and chuckle since we have more than one to deal with. Naturally I’m sure families with three kids look at us with the same thoughts that we do for the single child households.
The biggest thing we have to deal with our two kids is when they get into arguments, I think them both being teenagers emphasizes the arguments; one being a female can’t help either.
We learned a long time ago that it is critical to make sure that both of them know that we are truly interested in hearing their side of the story when a conflict happens. This thought process doesn’t stop the “you like he/she more” comments but it really is the best way to handle the situation.
If our kids are anything like the majority of youngsters out there then I believe the respect shown them will go a long way. Sometimes our youth can feel misunderstood or not respected and it can cause tension in a family. When you have multiple children these feelings get magnified and become more of a problem because single child families don’t have to experience sibling conflict.
For us the key to dealing with our kids is to treat them as we would like to be treated. Sure we lose our cool and get upset at them but we always talk about it later. My wife and I both think that communication with them is crucial and we always try to talk about anything that is going on in our lives.
This communication can be easier said than done, especially with meals around a dinner table not as common as it used to be even ten years ago; all of the social media and cellphones aren’t helping either. It is probably a good idea to set aside family time every evening where cell phones are not allowed and parents, this means you too. Set that good example and they will be more inclined to follow your lead.
For us having one child was never an option so having multiple children is exactly what we signed up for; every day is different and we do enjoy it, even with their young adult lives becoming busier by the day. We just take the bumps in stride as a family and go after anything that needs to be done. Fortunately our kids have always been OK with us in public, I know other families where this isn’t the case. As long as we continue to treat them with mutual respect, I’m sure things will continue to be just fine.