Getting Older Kids Settled

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - July 11, 2014

So I got a question from a dad who asks about an issue that he’s having. He says, “I’m having trouble getting my other four young children situated or should I say settled so my wife and I can focus on the twins.”

Getting Older Kids Settled

Well first of all, if you already have four kids and you have twins… I thought I had it hard with having two kids already when the twins were born. So congratulations to you for being able to juggle all six at once.

Here are a few things you can try and things that my wife and I tried as well, to juggle our two other children and the twins at the same time.

Caring for Twins’ Older Siblings

One thing you can do is divide and conquer. You can take the four older kids and your wife can handle the twins, or vice versa. Maybe you do a different schedule on a different night or different days of the week.

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Another thing you can do is try to involve your older kids with age-appropriate tasks that they can do to help Mom and Dad and help with the twins. This can be everything from doing household chores, helping with dinner, helping with the laundry to actual hands-on care for the twins, changing diapers and playing with them or feeding them.

Depending on the age of your other children there should be something that they can do to help contribute and help care for the twins. It may not be fast, it may not be efficient, and it may not be how you would do it, but nevertheless your other children are eager to help and contribute and it gives them something that they can do to keep them busy in a productive way.

Another thing you may consider is bringing in some outside help, especially during the craziest part of the day. At least in our house, around dinner time all the way to bed time is the craziest time of day. That’s when the kids are full of energy from the day, when Mom and Dad are worn out from a long day, and you need to get the kids fed, bathed, and then get them in their pajamas and ready for bed.

When my wife was on bed rest we hired a neighborhood teenager who came over and played with our other boys in the afternoon so my wife could rest. But the same principle can apply after the twins arrive. Consider recruiting a babysitter or a family member or a friend to come over for an hour or two to help during the crazy part of the day.

This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 64: Organizing Preparations, Other Children, Biting.

Picture by Nayelli Rodriguez

Low Battery Twins Shirt

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

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