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Old 12-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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suggestions for needy children and/or discontent

I have six children. My oldest and youngest sons are very needy. My oldest is 14. His best friend moved this summer (the dad-who is a chaplain-told his wife of 25 plus years he didn't love her and wanted a divorce). It was horrible because they had been friends for over ten years. We homeschool and we live in a small town. I have tried to involve him in Boy Scouts but he complains about the workbooks for merit badges and has not really bonded with any of the other boys. I had him in soccer but he broke his arm. I am thinking up some volunteer opportunities but he is in this season of constant complaining and it is wearing me thin. My youngest is 17 months and he is very clingy also. I have tried to night wean but he refuses a pacifier and will not cry it out. He is very stubborn. I took a break from schooling because he is so demanding during the day but I need to get back at it. I can't afford a baby carrier, I sold mine this summer because we needed the money and he can climb out of the playpen. How can I balance these two more demanding children and everything else? I need ideas!


Polly, mama to dd (18), ds (16), dd (9), dd (7), ds (4) and ds (3)
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:33 AM   #2
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Re: suggestions for needy children and/or discontent

((hugs)). Pray for God's direction and insight into both their hearts so you will know what their little souls need.

As for your oldest, I would keep sending him to SOMETHING. Doesn't matter what it is (well, you know within reason), just make sure he stays active and involved in something bigger than himself. My kids are still young, so I am speaking from my 14 year old self! haha. I was transplanted to a different state around that age and didn't want to make friends and kept to books. My parents forced me to go to youth group and some school functions and I was so thankful they ended up doing that. It was good for me though I thought it was sooo dumb at the time. I got along with a lot of people, but didn't bond with many on a very good friend level until a year later when I made friends with two great gals (I kept in touch with my best friends from another state for a long time though). Anyway, with your oldest it sounds like a heart thing and him being sad about his best friend. Volunteering is a great way to get kids' eyes open, help out, and be involved. Is there a children's hospital near you? Ours has a special program for teen volunteers and is awesome. I would also look into vetinary (spelling?) clinics or an animal shelter or soup kitchen or church food program and so on. Lots of opportunities out there! As for the complaining, pray and maybe set up a reward system (you can play 20 minutes of the wii if I do not hear one complaint today, kind of thing).

I have a pretty needy 2 year old. He is more michevious than clingy. Infact I realized I had to cuddle him more to help his constant-ness. He is a stinker and always has been and he makes me hit my knees in prayer the most! I think at 17 months old, your lo is old enough to start learning that mommy can't always come to his beck and call 24/7. I would let him throw fits (it's that time anyway for tantrums) in the day when you need to do some things and can't hold him. Put your 16 year old in charge of him for 2 hours in a different area of the house so you can school at least 1 kid and set up a reward system for her for that service. I would try to night wean again. At that age, he might be getting tired from getting up in the night so much and that contributes to his clingyness in the day. Think of it as you are doing HIM and you a favor by getting him sleeping through the night. He is at a hard age to night train because he's old enough to know you are a room away and stubborness has hit. Glean from some sleep training books (we gleaned from Baby Wise... didn't enforce everything, but grabbed some of the ideas and ran).

My kids are 5,4,2, and 1. So take what I say with a grain of salt. When I am doing school with my oldest, I do it during my 2 year old's nap. My 4 year old likes to sit at the table with us and be involved in some things and do quiet play during the times he can't be involved. I put Baby Girl infront of a Baby Einstein movie for 20 minutes (that's how long hers is), so I can get 20 minutes of uninterrupted time with DS1. After that she walks into the diningroom and I give her a small snack and a toy. If she is unhappy and wants up and i can't at the moment, she throws a fit and eventually finds something else to get into. Sometimes, I'll enlist my 4 year old to sit on the floor and play with her so I can finish up with school with the oldest I do make it a point to cuddle with her and hold her when I can, but other times she has to find a toy or a sibling to play with. She is 15 months old.

Last edited by raisingcropsandbabies; 12-27-2012 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: suggestions for needy children and/or discontent

My kids are also young but I raised two siblings when they were teens (they are now in college). My brother was a lot like your oldest son. I second the PP when she said to get him into SOMETHING. What about a safer sport like swimming? You could also put him in a big brother volunteer program and have him take care of a younger boy who needs a role model. (I find this makes them "step up".) Church youth groups or choirs are great places to meet other good teens. There are also homeschool groups that do activities together and field trips. We have one here that meets up once a week for a group lesson and once a month for a field trip.
As for the younger one he sounds just like my almost 2 year old DD. I would make a ring sling out of fabric you have around the house or an old sheet. The rings can be bought online and are not expensive. This would make you more hands free. I have the whole living room gated off with all the kids toys inside. When I need a break or I have to cook or clean I put all the kids in that room, get them started on an activity and leave. Those two gates have been worth their weight in gold! I highly recommend gating off a room for the younger ones.
Good luck mama, what ever you decide to do take some time to pray first and ask for help. I would pray with your 14 year old as well.
A crunchy wife to B and momma of identical twin girls G & E , our rainbow
baby C born at home April 2013 and R forever in my heart.
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