Sunday, February 16, 2014

{kid} answers.

* Having 3 kids... tell me about all the things you love about having 3... :) 
I always thought I wanted 2 kids. (2 girls) It's what I grew up with and what I knew. Corey grew up with 3 and always thought he wanted 3. Then we had Lawson... Corey had a boy and a girl and would have been content to stop. I wasn't sure, though. Honestly, Gretchen was a total surprise. I posted this picture of Lawson in March 2009, saying "we hadn't decided if this little man was ever going to be a big brother. So God decided for us..." 

Absolutely, 100%, the BEST surprise ever. We really can't imagine life without Gretchen. She made our family complete. And really... I think 3 is more fun that 2. More work... yes. More crazy... yes. But just more fun. 

The age difference between the kids was a big help, though, I think. Sophie and Lawson are just 2 1/2 years apart. When Gretchen was born, Sophie had just turned 7 and Lawson was 4 1/2. Big difference. They have always been so good with her and they both play great with her. 

Another bonus to 3 kids... now anytime we just have 2 of them... it feels so calm and quiet! =) 

* How do you discipline your kids? I have two girls who are starting to pick at each other... 
The consequences we use most often now involve electronics (TV, computer, iPad, Wii...) and early bedtimes. All 3 kids are really into the iPad, so getting that taken away is a big deal. We still do timeout with Gretchen occasionally and Sophie and Lawson get sent to their rooms sometimes. One child in particular really has a hard time with a bad attitude when they get overtired. So early bedtimes work well for that child. They don't like it, but it's sometimes what they need. (This kiddo was sent to bed at 7:20 the other night and was asleep before 7:45.) 

{I got a few nasty comments the last time I posted this, so here goes...} but we do still use vinegar in their mouths if they are talking rudely or disrespectfully (telling us no... talking back). I have a little spray bottle that I keep in a kitchen cabinet and they get a spray in their mouths. (We used to just dip our finger in it, or have them dip their finger in, and then swirl it around their mouths.) When we started doing it, it came with a talk about how the things coming out of their mouths need to be sweet and kind, not nasty and yucky. That's why we use it as a consequence for how they are talking, not for how they are acting. We don't do it a lot, but the kids have each had it enough to know that they really don't like it. (Gretchen's only had it once, when she was in a NO! phase a few months ago.)

As far as the kids picking at each other... (um... yeah. We've been there a lot lately.) You've seen that "Get Along shirt" on Pinterest? We don't do that, exactly, but I have told the big kids that if they are having that much trouble getting along, they obviously need some practice. So they have to be practice being together for an hour or two, until they figure out how to get along. I usually tell them that it doesn't matter what room they are in or what they are doing, but they have to be doing it TOGETHER! 

I've also noticed that often times their arguing and fussing at each other has to do with the iPad or computer. Who's turn is it? Who's been on longer? So usually they just lose the privilege. But, every couple months, I'll give the kids a 10 days for $10 challenge. If they can go 10 days straight with no technology (we usually give them a pass for our normal Friday night family movie) then I give them $10. They usually end up spending a lot of time playing together during those days and it helps everyone get along better. 

* Favorite places to shop for and with the kids? 
By far, the majority of my kids' clothes that I buy come from Target or Wal-Mart. (Lawson and Gretchen both get some great hand-me-downs from friends and family and Sophie found several fun things at a Goodwill store this fall.) Sophie was really in to Justice last year and did get a few things from there (gift cards for her birthday) but she figured out pretty quickly that she could get a lot more for her money at Target. Smart girl. =) 

Chances are, anything expensive or "name brand" was a hand-me-down or from a garage sale or consignment sale. I'm sure that will change some day, but for now... it's what works. =) 

All 3 kids love to shop at Target. (They may get that from their momma.) Sophie loves Claire's and any fun, girly store like that. Lawson likes to go to sports and outdoor stores with his daddy. Gretchen loves to go to the pet store downtown, but only if I carry her past the snakes and lizards. =) 


Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate said...

Thanks for your answers -- especially a couple of posts ago about parents and teachers :). Also, I would never leave you a nasty comment about vinegar in their mouths....I agree with that technique :)

Toni :O) said...

Thanks for some great ideas! I love the technology challenge especially! I wouldn't disagree with the vinegar either. I grew up hating Coast soap-haha!

The Sieberts said...

so if we have 4, 3 will seem calm, right? ;)

Heidi said...

So glad to read your post about 3 kids!! We were also not sure about a 3rd... And now we know!! ;) The gap between our kids will be almost identical to yours!!