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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

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Need Advice

May 19th 2013 new
I have been helping my brother out for the past several months with babysitting his three kids during the weekdays and having them sleep over on weekends. I am running out of ideas on how to keep them busy. The ages are 8, 7 and 5. I'm trying to keep the expenses down so mostly looking for freebie types of things to do. I found a park that has a water park but there were mostly younger kids doing that. It's hot here during the day so we've been staying inside watching DVD's or I let them go into the pool. These kids are active. They do wear me out after a couple of hours. I think this is because they argue a lot. Their mom is in Rehab for six months and my brother has long hours at work. I pick them up from daycare at 6 then Chuck picks them up by 10. I am working and have to get up by 6 A.M. I've asked for help from other family members because besides me the only other helpers is their mom's sister and mother. within two weeks their grown sister will be helping us. My 35 yr old daughter came down from N.FL to help me too but she had to return to N. FL for a week. I've got the kids tomorrow from 4 - 10 P.M. then again M, T, W, from 6 - 10. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. :)
May 19th 2013 new
Library, puppets, help in the kitchen, biking, making kites, dance to music, home made play dough.... can be found on line. They should be reading at least twenty minutes a day.
May 19th 2013 new
1. Bless you for taking them in. This is probably the most generous thing you can do for your brother. You may be the only stability the kids have.
2. If you anticipate that you are going to be deeply involved for some time to come, sit the kids down and say, "What kind of things do you like to do?" They may adore going to the same park at the same time ever day to play on the same playground with the same kids.
3. Taking care of kids does NOT mean "entertaining" them. That is THEIR job. Your job is a) keep them safe, b) model kindness and wisdom, c) introduce them to knowledge.
4. In line with that last comment:
- set ground rules: No bickering. Take turns. Etc.
- YOU do not have to participate in all the activities. Those ages can do most things on their own. You just accompany them. And there's nothing wrong with "hanging out"...kids need "do nothing" time.
5. Teach them to be self-sufficient. (Your brother needs them to be as independent as possible!) Make them care for their clothes and toys. Make them set the table for supper. Teach them a little cooking. (A 5-year-old can shape hamburgers.) Have them help clean up after supper. Reward them afterwards with a story.
6. Kids understand reciprocity: "I made dinner, so you guys clean up while I rest, then I'll read to you."
7. Kids are reasonable -- IF you don't cater to them and if you state things as simple rules. Don't be afraid of saying, "I don't want to do that" or "That's mean". (See #3 above.)
God bless!
hug
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Bernadette-363720 said: Library, puppets, help in the kitchen, biking, making kites, dance to music, home made play dough.... can be found on line. They should be reading at least twenty minutes a day.
they love to visit the library. See, I knew if I brought it up here I would be reminded of great ideas. I will take them there during the week for sure. I gave many recipes for the homemade play dough to their mom years ago but highly doubt if she made it for them. Allie, the oldest brings her chapter books to read while her brother Connor barely can read at all. He was in tutoring all last year to learn the beginning sounds and words. The youngest, Matthew, wants to read. they love to play school so I'll incorporate all of that together for a fun time. My daughters dad gave her puzzels, checkers, and cards to use with them. We have sidewalk chalk that they can use out by the pool. In my neighborhood there is fast traffic whizzing by so biking is out but I do take them to the park in the neighborhood when the sun goes down.
Dinner is hard for me because there's always one who will say they don't like what we're having. usually by that time I'm ready for a nice peaceful meal then quiet time so I will say to that child, don't eat that vegetable or whatever it is. I'm starting to know what foods they like which helps.
The older kids are acting out by being mean to my cat. This cat is a year old and loves kids. But, now I have to pick Angela up and put her in the same room where the other 3 cats are hiding. Such a shame. Connor was hitting Aunt Janies little puppy a few weeks ago. There was talk then of getting him help but since then I haven't heard of anything being done. Oh, and thank goodness the time isn't six months. Wow, I am glad of that. It's only two months that mom will be gone. Even when she gets back home she will need assistance though.
When grandparents have to take in their grandchildren I honestly don't know how they do it. I know how I feel and the rest of the family feels the same way. We are older so we get tired faster and our patience runs out after a few hours. My brother is 54 and his wife is 51, they started their family late in life. I was the opposite by having my child at age 24. Thought I was done rearing children, little did I know!
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: 1. Bless you for taking them in. This is probably the most generous thing you can do for your brother. You may be the only stability the kids have.
2. If you anticipate that you are going to be deeply involved for some time to come, sit the kids down and say, "What kind of things do you like to do?" They may adore going to the same park at the same time ever day to play on the same playground with the same kids.
3. Taking care of kids does NOT mean "entertaining" them. That is THEIR job. Your job is a) keep them safe, b) model kindness and wisdom, c) introduce them to knowledge.
4. In line with that last comment:
- set ground rules: No bickering. Take turns. Etc.
- YOU do not have to participate in all the activities. Those ages can do most things on their own. You just accompany them. And there's nothing wrong with "hanging out"...kids need "do nothing" time.
5. Teach them to be self-sufficient. (Your brother needs them to be as independent as possible!) Make them care for their clothes and toys. Make them set the table for supper. Teach them a little cooking. (A 5-year-old can shape hamburgers.) Have them help clean up after supper. Reward them afterwards with a story.
6. Kids understand reciprocity: "I made dinner, so you guys clean up while I rest, then I'll read to you."
7. Kids are reasonable -- IF you don't cater to them and if you state things as simple rules. Don't be afraid of saying, "I don't want to do that" or "That's mean". (See #3 above.)
God bless!

Even though they are having a hard time at home, I do lay the laws down while they are in my care. They don't always follow my rules though. Discipline is hard for me because I don't want them to think of me as the Mean Aunt. A co worker told me to be stern. I told her I am then she comes back with I can't imagine you being that way. I have to or else they will take over and that is one road I refuse to travel down. My daughter told me she is not good at discipline either but they tend to listen to her more because she is half my age. She is their play buddy. I feel they look at me like they do their mother since we are close in age.
I not only have these kids to care for but I worry about my 89 yr.old mother who is bedridden. I have to make sure she eats her meals plus try to keep the kids quiet so she can rest. They don't understand her condition and probably wonder why she can't go to the park with them. thanks for your ideas, I do appreciate the time you gave toward writing your post.

May 19th 2013 new
They could help you cook or you help them make their recipe.Do they have homework to do?Trips to the park and neighbourhood walks are always fun no matter how many times you do it.Do you have any board games for their age.Card games like go fish,memory are also enjoyable.
May God richly bless you for helping them. theheart theheart
May 19th 2013 new
I forgot to add. wave A book of nighttime stories and prayers.
May 19th 2013 new
Hi!! This will be quick because I'm onmy phone, but I'm a nanny, so I know what your struggle is! You NEED to be on Pinterest searching for ideas. There are tons!!! Also, kids love to paint!! Fingerpaint, acrylic paint...I've done acrylic on construction paper with cheap bruhes with my kids around those ages. Also, board games/card games. Hide and seek!! And I looove movie theater! Make snacks and cover the windows or go in the basement and snuggle up! Also could cover floor with blankets and pillows to sit on.

have fun!!!
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Kelly-846180 said: Hi!! This will be quick because I'm onmy phone, but I'm a nanny, so I know what your struggle is! You NEED to be on Pinterest searching for ideas. There are tons!!! Also, kids love to paint!! Fingerpaint, acrylic paint...I've done acrylic on construction paper with cheap bruhes with my kids around those ages. Also, board games/card games. Hide and seek!! And I looove movie theater! Make snacks and cover the windows or go in the basement and snuggle up! Also could cover floor with blankets and pillows to sit on.

have fun!!!
All are great ideas, thank you.

I picked them up at 4 from Aunt Janie's today. They were plum tired. She had them in her pool all day then out washing her car!!! They had hot dogs for lunch by the pool so being outside all day they all got sunburned.
By the time we got to my house they were hungry for dinner so I heated up the fried chicken, made mac and cheese and corn muffins. For dessert we made a strawberry, mango, pineapple, yogurt smoothie. It was yummy. I have all kinds of frozen fruit ready to make smoothies with. They've been playing with the zhu zhu pet toys, coloring and each took a turn playing cityville on zynga. Matt is sleeping next to me while the other two are watching The Parent Trap. Dad will be here in two hours. I will have the older two take a nap at nine..hopefully they will go to sleep~

Tomorrow I'll take them to the library for an hour before I bring them home. We'll have dinner then play a game of fish. Chuck has Thursday off and I have Friday and Monday off. The kids will also have Monday off being Memorial Day. My daughter should be back in town by Monday so we'll all have a nice family day together. Keep the ideas coming for me though. thanks everyone.
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Sherrill-anne-13557 said: They could help you cook or you help them make their recipe.Do they have homework to do?Trips to the park and neighbourhood walks are always fun no matter how many times you do it.Do you have any board games for their age.Card games like go fish,memory are also enjoyable.
May God richly bless you for helping them.
they do their homework at the daycare. We will create a recipe together, that will be fun to put it all together and cook it. We have to get candyland. I used to have that game here but must have given it away. I love the memory games. I have math books that are for their ages and tons of books that they enjoy reading. thanks.
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