During the Summer, I have a few close friends (more like family) that entrust me with the responsibility of watching their kids. My oldest is 12, so she’s basically staff at this point and the others range from 2-10. On a full day (with at least 3 adults present), I’ve had 8 smalls. I’ve gotta tell you, having a classroom of 20 for a few hours in Sunday School is a whole lot different then having that many kids for two meals, two snacks and an entire day.
For anyone who has multiple children during the Summer months, I have found that creating a daily schedule and weekly menu helps tremendously in organizing what could potentially be chaos. All school age children have some sort of Summer Reading or Summer Homework that needs to be done so that should have a designated time. I have also found that listing “snack time” in-between meals prevents you being asked for a snack fifty thousand times. Recess, free time, arts & crafts also help take up some time slots. For my smalls, I’ve had all of them in Sunday School previously, so in my schedule we have a bible lesson also worked in.
For the little ones who can’t read yet or don’t have Summer Homework, I found a bunch of free learning apps on the for my I-Pad which I use with the little ones during this time and I also give the bigger kids reading credit if they choose to read a book to a smaller child. This helps the little ones learn to sit still which may not seem that important but it will be important when they start pre-school. Kids also learn from each other so don’t underestimate the impact of a bigger kid reading to a little one, most of them love it. In the back firing sense, I now have a two-year old goddaughter who tells me “sit” so she can read to me, which is mainly her flipping through the pages at top speed and going to get another book. Could be worse.
I know a lot of people don’t like to allow children to help clean up because they have to re-clean what the kids have cleaned. Honestly, that’s how I felt until I realized how much the kids actually enjoy helping so I try to give them tasks at the end of the day so everyone’s helping. For bigger kids? Give them the steam mop, it’s hard to mess up steam mopping unless of course it’s an 8 year old who decides it’s a weapon, then of course you’ll have to ban them from future steam mopping.It happens. I have also learned Lysol Wipes can be used on electronics and Clorox Wipes can not. So if you’re giving a kid a wipe (make sure it’s a child old enough not to eat the wipe), make sure it’s Lysol if they’re cleaning in a room that contains electronic devices. Also as a side note, don’t let them plug in the vacuum in the same room that an Air Conditioner is on or you’ll be taking a trip to the fuse box.
Rewards are also helpful. Kids love having something to earn or look forward to. I build in recess time because they have it at school and I have found it helpful to follow their regular pattern. I do Popsicle at the end of the day after clean up and I try to do a fun lunch on Friday (i.e. Pizza) if we have good behavior all week. Pizza can be expensive so things I’ve found helpful in that department is the party size pizza which is normally $20 and feeds at least ten people, Little Caesar’s has a $5 large pizza special (I have two kids with a milk allergy, but Little Caesar’s will make a sauce only and you can pay the extra dollar for meat), or you can do pizza bagels yourself.
I certainly don’t have all the answers folks, but the little I’ve included above has really helped me manage a lot of kids at once without loosing my mind. Hope it helps, feel free to comment below!
Everybody is not going to love you and everybody is not going to like you. You could be the sweetest peach in the world and somebody, somewhere hates peaches. We don’t gain anything by only loving those who love us. People that need love the most, deserve it the least. If you desire to honestly walk like Christ? Honey, you are going to have to forgive people who don’t deserve it and love people who are not sorry. You will only have to give account for your own behavior come judgement day regardless of what someone did or did not do to you. You don’t get judged on that, they do. You will be accountable for how you responded.
If you were making a recipe and tripled the salt, what would your food taste like? Salt right? If there’s too much salt it’s going to taste like salt. Same is going to happen if you put too much of any other ingredient, what’s going to manifest in the flavor is what you put in it. Same goes for believers. If you feed yourself the Word of God, it’s going to manifest in all the parts of your being (your walk, your talk, your mindset, your behavior etc). It’s also going to work like the analogy of too much salt in a recipe…. Let me explain, you can feed yourself a few scriptures but exactly what you’ve been feeding yourself more of is going to manifest. If you are feeding yourself the correct amounts of God and taking in the least amount of processed garbage the world offers then everything about your life will start to reflect the character of God and if His character is not manifesting in multiple areas of your life (where there is a visible transformation) it’s time to adjust your ingredients.
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.””
Matthew 15:7-11 NKJV