The simple answer: a lot. Raising even one kid is difficult. It is an arduous task and will require your full attention. If you have a career going, it might have to take a backseat. You will need money, you will need support, and most of all you will need to have a plan. You cannot expect to ‘wing it simply.’
Raising children is hard, but it is not all bad. You will make mistakes, and you’ll learn from them. You will eventually learn to cope with all of your kids. Let’s go over some things that I learned on how to raise successful children. These will help you with your strategies and hopefully also provide a perspective on raising healthy children.
Send them outdoors.
This is an important step in their development and very easy to carry out. Allow your kids to go out and enjoy the outdoors. If the weather’s nice, that’s just cherry on top.
Many of the people working in the office for many hours continuously complain about not getting enough outside time. Yet, that is precisely what we force kids to do when we send them to school. If you also not allow them to go outside and play out of fear, then you are hindering their progress as a healthy and prosperous person.
We continuously take our kids to parks and even encourage them to play in the backyard. We also go on trips to see nature so that our kids may learn to appreciate nature and get in that vitamin D.
Plus, even science proves it. Multiple studies have found that physically active kids tend to also be good at studies and be healthy overall compared to those who are not.
Get them involved with household chores.
When you have four kids, the chores need to be divided because one person cannot handle everything on their own. It also helps to have four kids as more work can be done in a short time, allowing everyone to have more leisure time.
Kids also need to learn how to do daily household tasks because one day, they will have to do them in their own homes. Getting them started early also means they will be able to help you out sooner rather than later.
However, we all know how young ones tend to work. They are messy and fail to do things the right way. Hence, initially, it might be better to do the chores yourself and only have them do part of the work. This will allow them to learn gradually and avoid any mishaps.
The point here is that more kids do mean more work, but teaching them to get it done will help them learn and discipline them from childhood. So that when they grow up, they don’t take chores to be a burden and can help do some work off your plate.
You are their idol, act like it.
This one is important in raising children in a difficult time, such as one we are going through currently with the pandemic. It is also important because your kids learn from your behavior. They tend to adopt a lot of your mannerisms and ideas because, for them, you are a leading example.
You can do this by simply being good at your actions, especially in front of them. Focus on practicing the ideal traits like honesty, care, fairness, trust, etc. particularly when you are dealing with your kids. You also need to accept your mistakes and tell them the same. Kids can become highly disappointed if you tell them one thing and do the other. Owning your mistakes will help them trust your word and do the same in their lives.
Personally, I think that this task gets more difficult with four kids, but that is something we have to cope with. You cannot be perfect, and your kids will learn that too, but until then, you should try your best to be their idols.
Teach them how to handle their emotions.
A child’s emotional intelligence is very important in his development into a good human being. In this regard, they have to learn how to deal with psychological stresses and dissonance. If you don’t help them learn how to control their emotions, it can later come to haunt you in the form of angry spats or negative behavior. Also, teaching them how to deal with emotions at a young age can help them be better at relationships in the future, something the newer generations are not very good at.
Now, how you can do this is by practicing with them. Talk to them about their feelings and point out the negative ones and ways to change them. Whenever they exhibit bad emotions, which can be frequent in a home of four kids, identify it as wrong and take that moment to explain what should have been their response. If it is an angry fit, tell them to take a deep breath and calm down. Once they are relaxed, discuss the issue with them.
Don’t get personal with them.
As your kids get older and start developing their unique personalities, they may go through certain individual phases that can alter their emotions. When you have a big family, oftentimes, parents can neglect certain children and cater to others. This can build certain animosity between kids and parents. Maybe, this might not even be the case, and your child can just start blaming you for something you haven’t even done.
This animosity can cause your children to be aggressive with you and even hurl abuses at you. This a very real thing, especially in a more significant household. In such cases, you should help them rather than turn against them. They are kids, after all, and such emotional instability is common in families. Try and communicate with them, understand their position, and resolve the issue. They might also learn to do the same when they become parents.
If you have been looking for tips on how children should be raised, I hope I have offered you some solid ones. It doesn’t matter whether you are raising three children or raising four children if you have a big family, then our discussion above should help you effectively raise them. Here’s to you growing up with a big family, come what may.
Erin Keller is the mother of three boys aged 1four, 1three, 11, and 1 girl aged four. She currently resides in Fairfield but was brought up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she also completed her B.A. in Business Economics in 200three. Erin has been very involved with her kids, trying to balance work and life since 2011. Her experience with her kids provided her exciting content for her blog. The blog is Erin’s passion and an ongoing effort of a mom with four kids.