I think I'm in shock...
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  1. #1
    Registered User beks37's Avatar
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    Default I think I'm in shock...

    My fiance has moved in with me and he has his kids every other weekend and this is his weekend, and the first weekend they've stayed with us at my house. He has 4 kids ages 2, 4, 6 and 7. The oldest 3 are boys and the youngest is a girl. They are overall really good kids. I have no kids, but I love his kids. It has been overwhelming to say the least. Some things I just have no idea how to handle!!

    Like the toothbrushing, they just all crowd in the bathroom at once and there's water everywhere.

    And eating, especially the 2-year-old, she eats with her hands and smears food on herself and everything around her.

    Df has talked to the kids about minding me and listening to what I say and that's at least going okay.

    Does anyone have any tips or tricks for handling 4 kids? Any ideas would be helpful...

    It does make it all worth it when I come home and they all want to show me something or tell me something. I could get used to that.

  2. #2
    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    What a huge adjustment for you!! Especially since you mention "my house" I'm assuming you are also having to adjust to having little ones around your things, playing on your furniture, etc. which is quite different when you aren't used to that. Its very different than moving into someone else's house that already has kid stuff everywhere.

    I would like to suggest that you check out Love & Logic parenting. There are many parenting strategies that you can use to help you communicate with them while keeping your sanity.

    I suggest you find time to have one-on-one time with each child if possible, even if only for a couple of hours each visit. Talk about it with your finacee' about how you would like to take just one of them for some time, perhaps to a park, each of the older boys to the mall or for ice cream, etc so you can start building a bond with them as a fellow new person in their life. (granted you have probably had time with them in the past, but I don't know how much time you were able to spend alone with each one) This bond can help through the tougher times when they are tired, sick, or giving the "I wanna go home!" routine which sometimes happens. (and doesn't mean anyone is doing anything wrong at your house)

    Hugs to you, step-parenting can be tough but also very rewarding. You can do this!!

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    Registered User Droppedonmyhead's Avatar
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    Other than XANAX??? lol. . just kidding. This is such a HUGE adjustment for everyone and it will just take time. Kids make messes so try not to let it get to you. The youngest I would keep close to me when it's time to eat so that I could help her with better eating habits. Learn to have the patience of Job. You'll do just fine. There will come a time when they go back home and you'll miss the little tots.

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  5. #4
    Registered User OOwl's Avatar
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    All I have to say is that you just must truly love him! My sister has four kids, and I just am amazed that any woman would sign up for that chaos. Of course I have four dogs and I can see no issue with that whatsoever, so my values are a bit warped. Good luck to you with your new ready-made family. As the years go by, I'm sure you're going to be a great friend to those children. Good luck!

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    What a wonderful turn your life has taken and what wonderful memories you all are making!!

    Unless there is a safety concern, I would suggest that you obsserve what they normally do (as it seems you are doing) and not try to 'change or fix' anything (right away). I wish I could bring you into my preschool and see how to mold our little ones.

    Please don't try to tackle everything at once - two years old do eat with their hands. Teethbrushing a messy time - at least they are doing it.

    Yup, it will take time to get used to daily activities of little ones - keep open communications with your fiance and giggle and laugh at everything you can. You are on a wonderful journey of a lifetime!!

  7. #6
    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OOwl View Post
    All I have to say is that you just must truly love him! My sister has four kids, and I just am amazed that any woman would sign up for that chaos. Of course I have four dogs and I can see no issue with that whatsoever, so my values are a bit warped. Good luck to you with your new ready-made family. As the years go by, I'm sure you're going to be a great friend to those children. Good luck!
    Snicker...I have five dogs and could hardly handle my own two kids, dogs are much easier. hahahaha

    Another suggestion I have, try to establish a routine. Kids (and dogs) love routine, and with the upheaval feelings that come with changing houses on those weekends a light and predictable routine can really help with younger children.

    Up, dressed, breakfast, brush teeth, play time, pick up toys time, nap time, snack time, etc. just keep a nice little routine for them and nap time can be your sanity time.

  8. #7
    Registered User eris's Avatar
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    God bless your heart!

    Only 2 kids in the bathroom grooming at a time, anything more than that is more than any woman should have to tolerate!

    Good luck to you, like anything..it's your first time with the whole bunch, it'll get easier...promise.

  9. #8
    Registered User bumplett's Avatar
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    I agree with eris - I was thinking the same thing....

    set a routine in the morning/evening

    Two oldest brush first, since it won't take them as long to get ready for bed

    While the 2 oldest brush/wash - pjs are being put on 2 younger -

    then swap, and the younger 2 brush/wash - while the oldest put on pjs.

    bathe on seperate days - on a schedule.

    Fri - 2 oldest
    Sat - 2 youngest
    Sun - 2 oldest

    or in what ever order you choose, but I wouldn't bathe them all in the same night.

    we have a schedule & I only have two with an age gap to boot!

    You could use bedtime as bonding time - read each kid a book of their choice. Obviously, not a large book - if the oldest is 7, just a Dr. Suess should surfice. It's more about the time spent than the book itsself.

    This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth, but I would also try to do all of their laundry on Sunday morning so they go home clean, their mom will thank you for it (even if she doesn't admit it)

  10. #9
    Registered User beks37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumplett View Post
    This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth, but I would also try to do all of their laundry on Sunday morning so they go home clean, their mom will thank you for it (even if she doesn't admit it)
    I thought that would be a good idea, because the kids get dirty and I'd hate to send them home with a bag of dirty clothes.

    Overall, things went okay. I think after I came on here and vented a little, I was able to re-focus and start to work on things.

    We did baths for all 4 on Saturday night. The oldest 2 did baths by themselves and I helped the 4 year old and gave the 2 year old a bath. It turned out okay. The 2yo is sure a squirmy and slippery thing in the tub though. She kept turning over from back to front and putting her face in the water.

    Now, I have 2 weeks to recover before we do it again! Actually, they'll be here this coming Friday night from about 6-9pm. But that won't be hard. We'll probably just play the whole time.

  11. #10
    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    My kids brush their teeth in the kitchen. There's more room, plus I don't go into their bathroom very often so I notice the mess right away. I think they're more apt to clean up after themselves since it's a public space. Plus I make them set the microwave timer and brush for two minutes. We don't have a stand alone timer.

  12. #11
    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    You'll adjust just fine. Your DF and his ex had time to adjust to 1, then 2, then 3 and finally 4. You are getting them all at once, so I totally understand being overwhelmed!

  13. #12
    Registered User MissSeetonFan's Avatar
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    A couple down the street from me just adopted five siblings. They both went from 0 to 5 in no time at all. The adjustment is tremendous!

    I'm watching her (and helping out where I can) make that adjustment and I admire anybody who is willing to do it. This includes you!

    Good luck!

  14. #13
    Registered User Brat's Avatar
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    Good luck to you..I went from 2 to 4 in about the same age group full time..and worked outside the home too..It was quite an adjustment but well worth it..That was 35 years ago..and I still have 3 of the 4 close to me...After the first 5 years the youngest of my DH children came in and out for 10 years then just stayed away..But the other one stayed with us and is still here for me when i need him even now that his dad has passed away..

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