Monday, June 18, 2007

Large (ish) families: part 3

So a big part of parenting is training your children to behave appropriately. We do this through teaching them proper behavior, and discipline when necessary. I've found that having four kids so young has its pros and cons in this regard.

For example, today me and the kids were in Albertsons. Yosef was upset that Biniam and Anna started out in the fun "car" part of the kids cart, so he was crying his head off throughout much of the store--which is totally not okay. Had it just been me, him and say one other kid, I would have immediately left my cart, taken everyone out to the van and disciplined him. But that wouldn't work because the kid carts are not allowed out of the store. SO, I resorted to very sternly informing him that not only would he NOT get a turn today at the steering wheel, once we got to the car he would be in trouble.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and disappointed with how having this many so young can prevent me from doing what I want to do discipline-wise. I feel like maybe my kids would be better behaved in certain ways if there weren't so many of them in the toddler phase. So we do the best we can.

On the other hand, I see my kids learning stuff that might be harder to learn if they didn't have so many siblings. These kids look out for each other like you wouldn't believe. Biniam is always rounding up the sippy cups and doling them out to his brother and sister. Anna loves serving her brothers their dinner at the table. And just the other day during (what was supposed to be) naptime, I overheard this conversation coming from the boys' room:

(Biniam crying because apparently Yosef did something to make him mad)

Yosef: "I'm sorry Biniam, I'm sorry."
Biniam: (tearfully) "Thanks."
Yosef: "Can I give you a kiss?"
(Kissing sound)
Biniam: "Thanks."

SO, while I find some things are trickier, some things are better. The kids are able to learn first-hand what it means to care about each other, how to serve one another, etc., and hopefully these lessons will lead to kind hearts that love and serve the Lord!


Mike and Rachel said...

First of all, that is awesome that those carts can't go outside. They are so yucky and filthy I cringe whenever I put Aubrey in it. And, I think discipline is always tricky regardless of the size of your family. Aubrey got away with murder while I was pregnant, and now she gets away with murder because I have a newborn. Hmmm... so in a year I may be able to effectively and consistently discipline my fiery, but lovable girl! You are doing great Brianna!

Jeannett Gibson said...

What a sweet story! I think that ultimately, the kids are learning so much more by having many siblings, so I wouldn't worry too much about the discipline issues you might run across from time to time. That said, I would have taken the stupid kid cart out to the van...I would LOVE to see a bag boy come running after you through the parking lot! Besides, I'm a rebel like that! LOL! Just kidding.

Laundry & Children said...

Great post. I know exactly where you are coming from. One thing we are struggling with is teaching the kids that "yes they have to say they are sorry," but "no sorry does not just make the bad thing go away and it definately doesn't mean you don't have to get time out." Yesterday at the grocery store, they kids just were not listening and both earned a time out which would be given at home (at 9 months pregnant I just could not find it in myself to walk away from a full cart of groceries, my swollen ankles just wouldn't let me.) Well, suddenly thier behavior was perfect and they were nothing but charming. As we were leaving, my daughter asked if they had been good. I told her yes that toward the end they were good. "so," she inquired, "does that mean we don't have to get time out now at home." I told her "No your bad behavior earned you that time out and the good behavior, the behavior that you should have had the whole time, does not change the fact that you were naughty before hand." I think, hope, and pray they are starting to get it.

Kristen Borland said...

the discipline thing is so difficult, especially in public! i'm always looking for help in that area!!

love the story about yos and biniam. how sweet is that?!

Lara said...

When you are done shopping how do you get all of your groceries from the cart to the car if you can't take the cart outside?
I indulged and let Caedra sit in one of the "car" carts today (she was so happy, but they are SO hard to steer). Anyway, as i was leaving the store I read the little sign that said the cart couldn't leave the store, but I just kept right on walking and went to my car, unloaded my groceries, put Caedra in her seat then took it back to the store. I'm usually not much of a rule breaker, but I didn't see any other options! Am I missing something?
~Rebelious in Florida

erika said...

You really are doing a wonderful job loving your 4 kids 3 years and under... Hello! 4 kids 3 years and under... You are doing a wonderful job :)

In fact, I'm not sure if even the Duggar's have 4 children 3 years and under... well maybe if you count the one on the way. Yeah, Duggar family is what I can't stop talking about with everyone lately. I saw a picture of their family in People magazine. They have 19 CHILDREN all who Mrs. Duggar has carried through pregancy! Anyway, in the magazine article it said you can learn more about the Duggars at, so I checked it out. It also linked me to the Discovery Channel website where there is video of the Duggars... AMAZING! So this is helping me gain perspective. Now I look at my 2 children and say, "Hey, this is easy. If the Duggars can have 19, I can do 2." :)

Brianna Heldt said...

Dear rebellious in Florida, :)

Well the bagger person loaded up a normal cart with my bagged groceries and informed me I couldn't take the car cart out but that I could transfer all three of my kids to a DIFFERENT cart to take out. Um, hello????? I said no, that's too hard to do with Kaitlyn strapped to my chest, so they oh so graciously (can you hear my sarcasm :) ) agreed to make an exception provided the bagger went out with me and brought it back in. SHEESH!

Erika I've heard of the Duggars, I'll have to check out the site! (Can you imagine being pregnant so many times, wow!)


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