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4 Moms on Bedtime, Home Construction, Forced Association, and Favorite Read-Alouds

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For kids that share rooms at night, do you let them talk quietly? Do you have a point where they have to be silent? How do you enforce not talking? I have one child that will talk for hours and keeps her sister awake.

I am all for letting children talk, laugh, or sing quietly at bedtime as long as no one is being disturbed. As soon as one child asks another to please be quiet, that needs to be honored.

If the talkative child cannot bring herself to honor that request without parental intervention, I would have a "no talking" rule for a period of time in order to impress upon the child the importance of honoring the wishes of roommates.

Any suggestions on living in the middle of home construction?

My only suggestion for living, parenting, and homeschooling in the midst of construction is to do the best you can. This is the same way I operate even when I'm not living in the midst of construction.

Life has a way of throwing kinks in our best laid plans, and we just have to learn to roll with it. Even if there's no construction, there are weeks when all 8 children have the vomit virus, or the van gets stuck in the mud, or the husband gets laid off.

If we keep the mindset that we just keep chugging along, no matter what gets thrown at us, we develop the attitude that life keeps going and so do we.

There were days during our construction project that we picked up our school books and headed to the library, but mostly we hunkered down and tried to ignore the sawing, hammering, and drilling to get as much work done as we could.

I have a 6yr girl and an almost 5yr boy. They play together and squabble together in typical sibling fashion. When we get together with other homeschool families to play, everything is fine. My daughter is getting older and is now playing with friends in the neighborhood. I've been noticing that when she has friends over in the yard (boys or girls) that her and her friend(s) tend to leave John out or run away from him which makes him upset and then he chases them of course. You get the picture.

I've explained that a sibling is a friend for life while other friends will come and go. What I'm wondering is if they are all in the back yard playing, should I be expecting that they play nice with my son or should I be teaching my son that when she has friends over, to leave them alone and play by himself?

Obviously if she has a girlfriend over and they are playing barbies, I would expect him to leave them alone but if she has boys/girl friends in the yard and they are playing tag, Frisbee, swinging I think they should be able to play as a group.

This is another area where I'm pretty sure I have an unpopular opinion about how to work this out.

I usually don't force my children to play with someone if they don't want to. I talk to them plenty about how everyone likes to interact with pleasant companions, and no one likes to play with annoying whiners. Everyone likes someone who is friendly and considerate. No one likes a person who is rude and selfish.

They soon figure out that if they would like to be included in play, they should be pleasant to be around. (It is not pleasant to cry when someone doesn't want to play with you right now.)

There are also times when playmates or siblings would like to have a turn playing with someone else. That is perfectly okay. My children know this does not mean the friendship is over or the playmate doesn't like them anymore.

Of course, I am not talking about bullying or purposely ostracizing a child specifically to hurt his feelings. I also limit relationships that I feel encourage bad behavior, and I do not allow a single person to be left out of a group game.

But in general, I allow my children to freely associate with siblings and playmates. I think this teaches them a very valuable lesson in developing positive personality traits, as well as what it means to reap natural consequences for negative behavior.

What have been your all time favorite family read-alouds?

Oooh! We love read-aloud time! Here are some of our very favorite family read-alouds. And here are some more read-alouds that are favorites of the preschool set.

Now, be sure to see what questions The Common Room and Life in a Shoe are answering today.

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  1. Living in a house that’s under construction with lots of kids while homeschooling? We’ve done this twice (and it continues!) and I’m not sure it will ever end. :) Be relaxed, involve the kids in the work, and remember they’re learning a ton of life skills that can’t be taught in a textbook!! Like you said, roll with it!