As a family we are always under construction. We just added a baby girl 7 short months ago. On top of that my niece came to stay with us for the summer. But more than just adding or changing the people joining our family, the kids are growing older, more mobile and forming stronger more independent ideas. Now that Wes and Liam are old enough to interact and some what play together, things have gotten more and more chaotic. Liam is getting old enough to form his own opinions and interests. Most of those interests revolve around the things his brother is also interested in. This causes problems when Wesley has nominated himself to be the ruler of such interests. We have also put the boys in the same room. We did this at the beginning of the fall last year in order to prepare them (and the nursery for the new baby.) Uggghhh thus ensues the chaos. From as early as 5:30 a.m. to as late as 9:00 p.m. arguing, laughter, screaming, play, stomping, wrestling, hugging, pretend, hitting, shoving, talk. It is difficult to wake up too. Frustrating to fall asleep to.
Recently Flyboy and I went on a date. We enjoyed a nice dinner then headed to a local bookstore. Flyboy spent the whole time looking at photography books and ESPN magazines. I on the other hand grabbed book after book on child rearing, discipline, and structure. The book I came home with was: The Strong Willed Child, by James Dobson. All it took was me reading the preface to realize we were dealing with not two naughty difficult to hand children but two strong willed little men who need firm discipline to break their will but not their spirit. I got home with my book only to have the 2 babysitters we hired greet me with, "wow those are two very strong wills you have sleeping in one room." Confirmation I got the right book and a suggestion to split them up. Give the strong wills their own space. I think this would help in times of discipline. It also helps us continue to train Wes to be the oldest and take on the additional responsibility and ultimately privilege such a role should hold. Currently because the boys are together 24/7 it is very difficult to parent the boys based on their developmental level. I know some parents can handle this but I often can't figure out how to incorporate something as simple as a shower let alone cater to 3 individual personalities and stages of development.
Right now it is the baby and the boys. We cater to the infant and lump the boys into the more independent self sufficient category. Which in reality Liam is still not at a stage where he can handle the independent responsibility of himself. We are still wiping the child's but. I feel when he can take responsibility for getting up and peeing in the morning IN THE TOILET, instead of laying in bed and peeing in his pull up, when he can handle fully dressing himself, this includes snaps, buttons and zippers, when he wipe his own BUTT, then we can readdress whether he can play in the front yard without an adult like his big brother.
We have adopted a philosophy in our home that we are currently holding tightly to. B doesn't happen till A is completed. So until the boys do what is required of them they will not have the privileges those requirements earn them.