Topic | How much time with my toddlers?

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  • amama5

    I am just wondering how those of you with multiple children spend time with the youngest ones.  It seems like I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about not spending enough time with my youngest children.  I have 5 kiddos, 6.5 and under.  I just seems like a huge amount of my time is doing math lessons/phonics/etc. with my oldest two children.  I’m not great with craft time, we do it about once or twice a week.  We are outside a lot together, I read 2 books to the youngest ones a day, and they listen to most of our read alouds, but I always feel like I’m short-changing them.  I was just curious how much of your day is spent with the young ones(3 and under).  Suggestions are welcome, and basic examples of what you do during that time.  Thanks!  Adrienne


    Hi Adrienne. I know what you mean about feeling like the younger ones get short changed. Sometimes I feel like our little ones are just cruising around the house without much structure. However, as much as possible I try to include them into daily tasks. For example, my 18 month old has a fascination with our dishwasher. So, when I am loading it, I hand her certain things and show her where to put them (i.e. spoons, plastic plates etc.) Then she helps me close and start it. She also likes to follow me into the laundry room and toss clothes into the dryer then push the start button. It does take a little more time but we’re getting chores done and spending time together. Something else I try to do is spend a little extra time with her at bedtime. Since my hubby is home, he’ll be downstairs with the older ones while I take our little one up to rock her, read a book and sing before I put her in the crib. Also, remember that the little ones are getting so much from being with their siblings. If you have the older ones take turns (even 10 or 15 minutes) to play with the little one then your hands get freed up a bit while the youngest gets special time with an older brother or sister.

    Hope this helps. These are just a few of the things that have worked with us. Bless you!



    Thanks Jennifer, I appreciate your comments.  I do have sweet older children that play with the babies and read to them so that does help.  I know what you mean about doing chores together, I guess in my mind I forget to count that as time, seems like I have an ideal in my head and that doesn’t measure up sometimes(mostly from my first two, we read constantly so they knew so many more sounds/animals, etc).  I’ll take more suggestions if anyone has any, thanks!  Adrienne


    It is a fact of life with the younger kids…  they don’t get as much one-on-one time as the older 1 or 2 kids get… they also don’t get the Mom and Me types of classes.   But they DO benefit from playing with the older siblings, watching their schoolwork, etc.

    I do try to have at least a little time with each child one-on-one, but it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.  Reading a story to the toddlers before doing school with the olders can be a good habit – it gives them some loving and attention, and sort-of fills their cup before schooltime.

    hope that helps!

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