What's the big deal about Young Living

4 Moms Talk Buddy System, Dinner Recipes, Hand-Me-Downs, and Sharing

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The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids have decided to make some changes in our posting. From now on 3 of us will be answering Q&A each week, and once monthly all 4 of us will be back together writing on a preassigned topic.

To have your question considered for our weekly Q&A, leave it on our 4 Moms Facebook page.

Here is the first question I will be answering from those on the page.

Do you use the "buddy system" like I've seen on the Duggars? And if so, at what age do you pair up an older with a younger? And what duties does the older buddy do for the younger and what do you not give the responsibility for?

We do use the buddy system like the Duggars. Here is a video of us showing the buddy system in action and here is how we have used the buddy system to get chores done.

To have a "little buddy" we have required our children to be somewhere around 8 or older. The "big buddy" helps the "little buddy" with

  • finding shoes, putting them on, and tying them
  • buckling seat belts
  • holding hands while crossing parking lots
  • serving or carrying plates in a buffet line
  • taking buddy to the bathroom

We don't have buddies administer discipline.

What are your favorite dinner recipes?

Mexican Mess is our family's favorite meal. It is simple enough to throw together in 5 minutes, and can be left to simmer for several hours or served in 15-20 minutes if needed.

We also love this taco soup recipe, which is similar.

Do you keep all hand-me-downs? If you do how do you keep them organized?

We keep hand-me-downs until they are stained or holey and then we toss them in the trash. By that time, they have usually gone through 4 or so girls, and I believe they have lived a long, happy life and are enjoying their heavenly rest in that clothes hamper in the sky. And by that I mean the county dump.

We use these labeled, clear plastic tubs to store the clothes that are not in use. Sliding a piece of copy paper, written on with Sharpie, down the side, is a simple, non-permanent way to label the tubs. When it is time to "go shopping" for new sizes, it is easy to see which tub to grab.

Any tips on sharing?

Here are my unpopular views on forced sharing. I was actually called names because of this post, if you can imagine that.

Which brings me to the part of the program where I remind you all that I am a human person in the shape of a mom, not a doctor or certified expert at all things, animal, vegetable, or mineral. The ideas I put forth on this blog are ideas, that I have found work with my family. If they do not work for you or they give you an icky feeling in your tummy, by all means, don't use them, and feel free to click away from the page.

There's no need to resort to name calling. Let's use our big girl words, 'kay?

Alrighty then!

Now, go see what questions were chosen by my friends, Life in a Shoe and The Common Room, and be sure to leave any questions you have on our 4 Moms Facebook page!

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  1. So, what you’re saying is that I need to borrow some of your older kids to come be buddies for my kids, right?

    My boys are old enough to legitimately help out more, and it’s been great realizing they can do those things. Yesterday, I made them all (even 2 year old) sort the laundry all by themselves. They did a great job. Sometimes I get so used to doing something myself that I forget about 3 other people in the house being fully capable of day-to-day things. I must relinquish my control.

  2. I don’t force my girls to share either! here i thought it was just me…i’ve always said why should they share just b/c? i don’t have to share my mower…they don’t have to share….if you want to use it, ask permission. lol.

  3. I have read your post about sharing and I agree. The problem I have is getting my two boys to “share”. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 15 month old boy so basically all the toys belong to them equally. My 15 month old is now trying to grab things from my two year old and if he doesn’t let him have it he screams at him which makes me two year old very upset. My two year old is becoming very territorial at times. For example if hes playing with his animals and my 15 mo. old tries to come over and play too He will say “mommy baby in there..” and point to the other room. I’m having a little trouble with this.

  4. In the sharing arena, we did not make them share food gifts they were given, but we did not let them eat those gifts in front of others who didn’t have anything.
    But even if a toy is community property, the child who is currently playing with it is the one who has priority. I have shared property in common with my husband, too, but it’s incredibly rude and selfish of either of us to come up and demand that the other give up something that is *currently* in use just because we want it.

    Nicole, in your situation, we would not have made the two year old give what he is playing with to the 15 month old. We would have either distracted the 15 month old ourselves, or we would have worked on teaching the 2 year old how to distract a baby by giving the little one a different toy. He wouldn’t have to try endlessly, either- just pick another interesting toy out and try to give it to the baby. If the baby is still demanding big brother’s toy, mom would intervene.

    We use sign language from birth at our house (because we have a disabled child who cannot speak), so this also works for us: when a baby screamed at an older sibling for not giving up his toy (or any reason that wasn’t essentially self defense, I’d remove the baby, saying, “you do not scream at your sister,” and have baby sign an apology (hand over hand if need be).

  5. Maybe I should have clarified a little, sorry! I’ve been working on getting my 15 mo. old to not scream but this is very recent and it seems that my boys don’t really have a sense of volume. But we don’t let him have it when he screams…usually sometimes he just ends up getting it because my two year old gets so upset I’m giving him attention and meanwhile my 15 mo old is getting what he wants..hmm. thank you, you have given me something to think about. I suppose what I mean about my two year old sharing is in the situation when he has about 6 or 7 animals..there are instances where he just doesn’t want to give anything up. But I do see your point. thank you again

  6. Connie, I love your idea for using a sheet of paper to label the contents of clear plastic bins! I am pinning that for future reference and to share with my friends : )

  7. Thank you for answering my question. I have a follow up. In light of how you tackle sharing how do you handle not forcing sharing with common toys that are not yours and when playing with others who do enforce sharing?

    • Melanie says:

      Good question(s)! I’d love to hear the answer too. :)

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      I say the owner of the property gets to determine what happens with the property. If the toy belongs to a family who enforce sharing, then sharing is the rule.

      Just like in the adult realm, if I own a convertible and like to loan it out to friends for fun day trips to the mountains, then live it up!

      However, if the convertible belongs to me and I don’t ever loan it out, that is my prerogative.

  8. Melanie says:

    Your view on sharing my not be popular, but it sure made a difference to how I view it. I had never examined that belief before, and it made me rethink and revise how I do things. Thank you for putting yourself ‘in the line of fire’ by sharing what works for your family. I LOVE hearing new ideas, or being encouraged that I actually am on the right track already. Like you said, if we don’t like what you are saying, we can just ignore it and keep reading or move along. May you be blessed in return for blessing so many of us!

  9. I only read your blog and don’t have fb so maybe that’s where you got the negative feedback on your sharing views but I see mostly agreement and thankfulness in comments on your blog. When our first two were toddlers we read an article with these same ideas. I’m so thankful for it! Years later and a few kids more we’re still using the same system (it’s yours, you chose if you share, but leave it out in public and you might have to use significant amounts of diplomacy in getting it back from a less mature citizen). Please keep sharing your insights. I benefit often.

  10. Tasmanian says:

    Aw, that loading kids into the van in a jiffy video was the link that first brought me to your site :)

  11. I Love, LOVE your article on sharing!! I, too, have been called names (in person, actually) for our policy on no forced sharing. It really seems like common sense to me. Adults aren’t forced to share their things. We live in a society where we own private property. If I came home one day and my neighbor was using my lawn mower, I would have something to say about it. If he asked me, and was known to take care of things, I may let him. But I’m in no way obligated to. Being forced to share is socialism. Why would I impress socialistic ideas into my children’s heads, and then send them off into a society of private property possession? That breeds entitlement. And look where entitlement has gotten us. If, on the other hand, my children are allowed to have their own possessions, take care of them properly, love them, and THEN they choose to share, then they are actually learning a lesson of the cost of willingness in sharing with others. And of course, when my husband and I see them sharing willingly, many times there is a blessing to be enjoyed later. That is, after all, how the Lord treats us.