Topic | Habits for multiple young children

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  • Dianapatrice
    Participant

    I’m interested in thoughts about habit training with multiple young children. We have a 5 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old, 1 year old, and a preborn baby. So life is beautiful, but also a little nuts. Everybody needs my “follow through”. So, my two oldest have made strides in obedience, but the 3 year old still needs help. Prior I just lumped a habit all together… (we are *all* working on such-and-such). But I am pulling my hair out with our untidy home. I want to teach them to pick up toys in the playroom, and it requires a few weeks of my dedication of doing that with them.  Between first trimester fatigue and life threatening allergies that keep me occupied making meals from scratch, I just don’t have enough time to go around. So I seem to keep contemplating going back to the lowest common denominator for the sake of the youngest. How do I move past regurgitating the same habit for the older ones, but also teach it solidly for the younger ones? Some tips would be great. Thanks!

    Tristan
    Participant

    I feel you mama! I had 14 pregnancies in 17 years (10 living children ages 1-18). I also have kids who carry epi pens due to food allergies, and cook so much from scratch.

    One immediately actionable step to take, that will make a huge difference in making learning the picking up habit doable for those ages, is this:

    Box up ALL the toys. Feel free to sort them into a couple boxes by type (ex: duplo in one, wood blocks in one, dolls in one, trains in one, cars in one). Keep out 1-2 types of toys, in a small enough amount that it can be picked up in 5 minutes if it has all been dumped on the floor. This means you may not get out all the toy trains at one time if you have a large collection. That’s ok.

    Ta da. Now your young kids will have success because it won’t take long to pick everything up. Give them months of this success before you increase how many toys are available at one time. Every week (or however often you like) right after they pick up all the toys you trade out the current toys for one of the other types you have boxed up. This takes 1 minute. Their toys will begin to feel new and fun because they only see them every few weeks or so. They will become more creative in play because they are not inundated with so many things.

    Tristan
    Participant

    Also, give grace! You are an adult and STILL mastering some habits, right? I know I am. So don’t expect these little people to have it perfect until they are at least your age. 😉

    That’s my whole plan: Set them up for success and extend grace as they learn for a couple of decades.

    MissusLeata
    Participant

    I don’t have any helpful tips, but I just want to say, “God bless you!”  I remember being there and just want to say that a Scripture that really encouraged me at that time was Isaiah 40:11, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Jesus gently leads those that are with young. You can be gentle on yourself while you are growing a baby!

    Dianapatrice
    Participant

    Thank you, ladies.

    We are good at rotating toys, but our abundance means A LOT can still be out.  Only having a 5 minute pick-up quantity while learning the skill and habit the next few months sound like a winning strategy.

    Merry Christmas.

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