Parenting Teens and Toddlers

Six kids is a lot of kids. Just saying. I have a 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 3 year old.

My tween stays up later than I do and my toddler is still in my bed most nights. And then there’re all those kids in between.  My older girls want to be up with me, hanging out with me, talking to me. They come alive at night.  I remember doing that too. I’m a night owl myself.  And also a morning dove. So yeah, I’m tired.

My ten year old thinks he’s a Bigglet now too. I conveniently had my kids in pairs, so we refer to them often The Big Girls, The Boys, and the Little Girls.

Monday night has been our girl’s night, which means I hang out downstairs with my teens. Usually, we watch Gilmore Girls and have yummy snacks, and just be together. My boys get Stay Ups when they are halfway or all of the way done with one of their books in Barton Method Tutoring, which means they get to hang out with me like this about once a month.

Lately, it’s been a HUGE source of conflict at bedtime, because the ten-year-old is supposed to be in bed and we’re having so much fun without him. I end up going to bed cranky, he ends up going to be cranky, he keeps the eight year old, who really needs the sleep,  awake and the Girls don’t get to enjoy their evening.

In school, my Girls are in junior high and high school; they don’t need a lot of my help, but they do need a lot of my presence. My Boys have troubles reading so we need to do a lot of reading aloud. And the Little Girls are constantly finding ways to make messes, even though it’s usually just creative play.  When the Big Girls were five and three, I would sit and read to them for hours. We would have special snacks. We would do fun activities, like playing with paint, colored water, building a little pig house out of actual sticks. My Little Girls are lucky if they get one book just for them a day, and a craft or art project once a month. They have to make their own snacks.Parenting toddlers and teens large family logistics

My Bigglets help the Littles with many many things. My Eight is excellent at helpingThree with many of her self care routines. Ten makes breakfast. Fourteen and Twelve often help everyone stay on task to finish their zones. The Littles help the Bigglets. Three compassionately offers people kisses, tissues , and boo boo bags when they’re hurt. Five makes tea and poetry happen on the regular, which everyone loves. She loves to bring breakfast in bed to the Big Girls. Twelve plays swinging around games with the Littles which I’m too old for. Ten loves to give shoulder rides. We all love to snuggle up together and read or watch a cozy movie. 

It’s hard being the parent of teens and toddlers. There is so much happening all of the time, and so many words flying hither and yon. It’s an incredible blessing parenting toddlers and teens at the same time.  They’re getting experiences and opportunities they wouldn’t have had without having a crazy mama, who had six kids!

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2 thoughts on “Parenting Teens and Toddlers

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m so glad I get to “watch” you do it, I’m just a few years behind you with the same ages! It is so important to have time for each, they love being special in that moment! Great advice Jess!

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