I grew up the oldest daughter of four girls. Four of us, born in just under six short years to a very exhausted set of parents. Us sisters handed down clothes, shared accessories and carpooled to school together. We oftentimes shared the same group of friends, and were teammates on the same high school swim team. We got mistaken for each other on almost daily, from friends and family (I’m looking at you, grandma) alike.
So when it came to school shopping for clothing items and supplies - individuality mattered - and thankfully my mother took recognition.
Fast forward 30 years later and my husband and I have become that very same set of exhausted parents. Four kids, less than seven years. Yes, I need a nap STAT. But even though life is completely hectic, I make every effort to acknowledge each child’s desire to become their own person, especially during the back-to-school season.
Recognizing individuality in a large family:
We go on a back-to-school shopping date. We reserve an evening on the calendar, and look forward to some one-on-one time together shopping for school supplies. After the supplies have been gathered, we hit up the local froyo shop and chit chat and dream about the coming school year.
Recognize their personal style. The endless choices in school supplies provide the perfect opportunity to let my kids child’s individuality and uniqueness shine! Even if it’s not my personal favorite, I love watching them select folders, backpacks and lunch bags adorned with their favorite characters.
Acknowledge that being in a large family can be hard. Sometimes my middle daughter struggles with being “heard” through all the family noise and chaos. Anytime I’m running errands on the weekends, I always take her with me as my sidekick. We go to the market, return library book, hit up garage sales. It’s become a cherished time of the week to catch up with just her to discuss her week in the classroom.
How about you? Do you ever struggle with making sure every child in the family feels special and unique?
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