We also try to I’m okay shirt teach empathy in personal interactions between siblings and friends. Spontaneous fun is also something I’m proud of. We recently started having spontaneous dance parties in our house before bedtime where we blast music and everyone dances around the house. Or even just spontaneously deciding to have a pizza and movie night and let the kids stay up later than usual makes things fun.The effects of delegating child-rearing to the older kids are nearly always negative, in my experience. Many of the people I meet who came from large families want absolutely nothing to do with children once they are adults because they spent their entire childhoods taking care of a gaggle of other siblings.
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In their downtime, the parents have to I’m okay shirt do bills, cleaning, cooking, etc. That does not leave a lot of time to connect with their children, and many children fall to the wayside and feel neglected. This is especially true for less troublesome children. The louder kids get more attention while the quiet, well-behaved ones are overlooked because they don’t require as much monitoring. After working and cooking and cleaning all day, every day for years on end, people get a little tired. They are stressed out and cranky and, more often than not, the parents will take this out on their children. Children, obviously, require a lot of patience, so this is not a good combination. Less-than-stellar parents may even come to resent their children for making them have to work so hard, which is even worse for the children to have to deal with. In very large families, it is common for the older kids to take care of the younger ones. I know a lot of people who actually list this as a benefit of having a large family. They think it is good because it teaches responsibility at a young age.
It is not fair to keep on popping out children with the expectation that the older ones will help out. Children should be able to BE children when they are young. They shouldn’t have to take on adult responsibilities like child-rearing unless they make that decision themselves one day.