Jules has the FUNNIEST question: How do you pick your battles with so many children with so many different temperments?
That's a funny question to me because I really don't pick my battles differently with each kid. I feel that I hold them all to the same standard. You have to be decent. You have to be polite, and respectful and helpful. If you don't, I'm going to call you on it. I pick battles for those things - if you slam around, speak disrespectfully or treat other people badly - know that your mom is going to nail you. :)
If I know that one kid is struggling with being polite due to extra stress at work or school, I'll tell the other kids to give some extra space - but I feel like I'm pretty even.
If you know me in real life and you don't agree, tell me.
Janyll begs to know: Do you wish you could blog the unbloggables? Would it be a good outlet, or would the well-intended but sometimes ill-considered advice in the comments be unwelcome? Do you have the friends you can unload on instead? Or, like me, do you keep the really serious stuff close to the vest?
Sigh. The UNBLOGGABLES. I would actually REALLY like to blog some of the unbloggables. Mostly because a) it helps me gain perspective b) it helps me to see other people's sides c) I feel so much better when I get the unbloggable stuff out of me d) sometimes, whe you blog something that is going on that's just so bad and overwhelming - it's nice to get it out there for accountability and e) ya gotta admit - everyone wants to hear an "atta girl!" every once in a while.
That said - I've written the unbloggable once in a family matter and once in a school matter - both times I was super badly burned. I'll never do so again - but it really cracks me up to know that those who read, were offended and caused a super duper storm of upleasantness that continues to this day - still read here. I have two really close girlfriends that I talk to several times a week, and I talk to my husband and my mom and dad about things that are unbloggable. I'm not exactly known as someone who keeps her thoughts and opinions to herself. I do an awful lot of coded entry, and if I need to, I'll leave names and genders off. Sometimes, the fall out from an unbloggable topic has an exceptionally high cost - and only you can measure the cost to see if it is worth it.
Likeable girl asks: Since your kids are in different places of maturity, are rules tailored to each child? Are there some rules that apply across the spectrum without exception? How do you manage that?
This kind of goes along with the first question. Rules in my house that pertain to everyone - do your chores. Help out. Hold the door. Be polite. Be respectful. Do your chores. Close the cabinets and closets behind you. Tuck in your chair. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Treat other people appropriately. All the time, no matter what. Help your mother.
The thing that isn't across the board would be, of course, age related freedoms. I try to tailor stuff more towards what a kid is able to do versus saying that you can do x, y or z when you reach a certain age. Bedtimes are graduated - if you are older, you can stay up later - and curfews are different for different age kids. Older kids can bike further and longer than younger ones - and those who can drive are alloted freedoms that the ones who can't drive aren't. But - the converse is true - if you can drive and you abuse it, you lose it.
Rox wonders: When you have a child who's down, or who's especially in need of a little something extra, what do you do/offer?
Food. Extra TV time. Shopping trip. Maybe nails - for the girls, duh. I'll try to sit and talk - sometimes, that's not well received. I might let a kid cook with me - some of them really enjoy that. Maybe lunch out.
What do you do?