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Parents of more than one child: how do you make them all feel special?

I have three children. A 6 y.o son who has a mood disorder, a 9 y.o daughter, and a 12 y.o daughter. My 6 y.o ds has severe behavioral issues. I spend most of my time keeping him out of trouble, or dealing with him when he finds some. It seems like my good girls get left out and I know that they do not get enough attention. How can I find time for them? What types of things would mean the most to them?

 
jlemaycox

Asked by jlemaycox at 8:56 PM on Nov. 7, 2008 in General Parenting

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Answers (6)
  • cont..Also finding time to volunteer in the girl's classroom here and there lets them know you care. Or having lunch with them during the school day at the school. Makes them feel special. Writing little notes in their lunch boxes. There are ways to show them you care without having to set aside huge chuncks of time you may not have. And when you do have the time...use it to your advantage. Enlist your husband as support. And have some "me" time too. Even if it is locking yourself in the bathroom to read some magazines or take a long hot shower/bath. Make yourself your favorite drink and relax when you can. Moms who have children with special needs need to treat themselves extra special.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:36 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • One idea I had is to give them one day of week that would be their special day. This could mean just extra attention that day, take them somewhere special, let them make special choices, their favorite dinner, etc. You could also spend more time talking to them on that day to get to know them better. Of course all these things are good for any day, but you are more likely to keep it up if it is in a pattern of some sort.
    hatg

    Answer by hatg at 9:00 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • Above is a good idea, once a month sounds more do able. My children are close in age, but I offset their bedtime, rotate who gets alone time with Dad, other comes up with me to read alone and talk, then I read to the next one when Im done. Plus they get alone time with Dad, which is great since he works so much, sometimes its the first they've seen of him all day. My kids are younger then yours but I think since your already thinking about it, your aware of the time you have to give to one, I think your already being a good mother to all. People that out loud show more love to another, I doubt ever even think about it. I grew up with siblings, I didn't think one was loved more then the other.

    Kerinmomof2

    Answer by Kerinmomof2 at 9:16 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I have 3 girls that are 21 ( she has aspergers ) a 17 and a 15 yr old. Then there's my 4 yr old son. With my girls I have always found time for them alone. When they were younger I sat with each one of them every night for 15 minutes. I told them all to go to bed... then just went from bed to bed giving them one on one conversation. You really find out alot about your kids and their lives when you go to them and just hang out for as little as 15 minutes at a time. Now that the girls are older I talk them shopping alone, just us. Also be open to your girls about their brother and his issues. I had to do that with my younger girls about why their oldest sister has different needs. It makes all the difference!
    wheresthewayout

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 10:05 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I organized our evening routine so that they all get to spend a little one on one time with me. I have 5 kids. While the older ones are cleaning up and getting stuff ready for the morning I get the baby fed and layed down. Then I start a bath for the 3yr old, when he's done, I get my daughter next. By this time the 3yr old is in bed. My 10yr old and 13 yr old usually get to go someplace with me when someone else is watching the little ones. My oldest really don't like "hanging out with mom" anyway, lol
    lilmomma4

    Answer by lilmomma4 at 11:38 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • Its hard when you have children who have a medical issue, such as a mood disorder. I think it is easy for people who are not familiar with parenting a child who has mental health issues to make suggestions. There are support groups for siblings who have a brother or sister living with a mental/emotional disorder. Many parents feel guilty, and yes, some kids do grow up feeling a little shafted. But at the same time you have to keep up with the two that have the most issues to keep them and everyone safe. Look into respite care. Sometimes people are trained volunteers who can watch your two boys while you and the girls go for a movie or whatever. You can have regular respite care set up if you find the right resources. Look into your local NAMI chapter for ideas on how to find respite for parent relief.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:33 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

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