Friday, September 25, 2009


To use the buddy system or not to use the buddy system?
Some think it is very wrong.
Me? I think it is completely right.

I have a house filled with children 9 and under. Everyone loves running around and being part of all the pieces that make it run. It is the same with our church we pioneer. The kids think it is as much their church as it is ours. My son has always wanted to do the overhead for worship. My husband told him that when he learned to read, he'd be able to do it. Now that he is 9, he runs the Powerpoint for the song service. He is so honored. My 6 year old thinks he is big stuff because he gets to walk around and turn all the lights on for services-- he even helps empty the trashcans. Does this mean we are being bad parents because they have a part in pioneering the church? No. It is part of raising children who will become selfless adults. Everyone has always had a part to play in our house and with each other. Several months ago, my two year old would fight with her older siblings because she wanted to feed the cat in the morning. She was actually trying to beat the others to the cat food. So this has now become her 'chore'. I am constantly telling her to stop doing ALL that she does. What does she do? She takes the bib off her little brother. She clears the dinner table. She sweeps under the table. She wants to put her own clothes (laundry) away. She tries to clean up spills. Sometimes her help causes even MORE work for me. The funny thing is: I NEVER asked my 2 YEAR OLD to do these things. She just does. She has always been this way. I am constantly saying, "NO, Pearlie, leave it alone." She does not even have a little one to help. She is supposed to be the helpee. What does this mean? It means that she has a natural desire and self-respect to want to help out with all that we do in our home. Why is this bad? She is doing this on her own. Not in response to my prompting or desire. Each child has always helped. SO my hubby and I asked them, "Do you guys want partners/ buddies?" Parker, my 9 year old, LOVES and SPOILS my 1 year old. He wanted to be his little brother's helper. Sophia wanted her little sister. She said she wanted to have the girls with the girls. Ethan, my 6 year old, has said that Ruby, our 9 week old, is wonderful and that he wanted to help with her. He gives her a binky, holds her and grabs a diaper if I need him too. That is wonderful as a Mommy to see my children love each other so much. Have you ever gone to Target and your children argue and beg you to push the cart? Mine do. They just are like that.
I think they will be great adults who want to help out others in the world some day. I am honored to have children like this. How can anyone say this is wrong or bad? My 5 year old has been asking me every morning for the last week if she can get her little brother out of his crib?
Should I tell her no?
She feels big and proud that she can get him out.
Why would I take that away from her?
Because I am the parent and she's not?
Are you really helping, raising your child correctly, if you keep them from responsibility? The answer is clearly 'no'.


Marilyn said...

I am certainly no child rearing expert, having raised mine & made plenty of mistakes, but I think your children are learning responsibility & satisfaction in their "work".
These are your children & it is your business how you raise them. Other peoples opinions should not even enter your minds.
They should all be buddies!!

Lisa Curcio said...

I love the buddy system! It works really well in our family too.

I love the second picture in the post, he looks so happy. And I love the "we really look like this" picture on your side bar, so much fun :)

Krystal said...

You know, the funny thing is, my mom and I were just talking about this the other day. I read an article that stated that a lot of people have problems with big families because the older ones have to help the younger ones. Coming from a family with 10 kids between 23 and 3, it never even occurred to me that this would be an issue!

I think it teaches kids responsibility that their contemporaries certainly don't have! You're doing great! Keep up the good work!

Rachel and Family said...

Our children are also always so helpful at church and at home. I was just thinking the other day how eager my little ones always are to help and sometimes I just want to do it myself to make it all easier. But when they get older I will probably be the one begging them for help LOL! I better make sure to cultivate their helfpul spirits now! Also, I read the neatest book by Barbara Curtis and she said "give the littlest ones the the jobs that they are most capable of and don't waste them on the older children". For example.. why ask my 10 year old to grab a diaper for me, when my 2 year old can do it.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I think the problem people have with kids helping with siblings or in the house, is that they wrongly feel like childhood should be some "Bubble" of freedom from responsibility. You are doing a great thing teaching them to participate in real life work...your right they are going to be great adults who know how to help and serve others!

Kim said...

In a large family a lot of this does just come naturally. It's not like you are sitting on the couch eating bon-bons while your older children raise your younger ones!

claudie said...

I have a very good friend named Sophie, and I adore her. The fact that Sophie loves PINK is even better. Love her and all of your beautiful children...
Your cup runneth over for sure.
Happy PS
Love Claudie

Carley said...

I admire your parenting! You have well-adjusted, loving children. You are doing a great job! I hope one day to be blessed with a family as wonderful as yours!

Tami said...

Happy Pink Saturday!
xo Tami

Anne F. said...

We have a large family and our children range from 25 to 3 and let me tell you they are the same way. Only difference my older 5 are boys but they are helpers for each other and now for there little sister. My older three boys love taking the younger ones for a day and doing things with them and there is no complaining about it. believe me I wish the whole world could be like this.

YOu are doing a wonderful job and you should be so proud of your children, I know you are. Don't worry what others think they maybe jealous of you.

Jennifer said...

That is so awesome! It sounds like you are doing a great job with your kiddos. I so wish that my 3 1/2 year old would like to do chores. I ask her to pick up her toys and put them in a cabinent and she acts like that is a terrible thing to ask her.

Candi said...

Hi I just happened through and saw your post on the buddy system. I only have one living child at the moment but my opinion is that the question shouldn't be "should I use the buddy system" as much as "how far should I go with the buddy system" if that makes sense. I don't think children should be raising children but they should learn helpfulness, responsibility, and practical child-care skills for sure.

I hope your day is blessed!

Jennifer, Sunshine, Angel, Miss Thang, Baby said...

I only have 4 children in my home, ages 12 and under, but they are helpers as well. We are an unschooling family and doing your part is simply a part of that learning. I have to remind myself not to get angry when people attack me for making my kids do my work or not letting them be kids. I take one look at their disrespectful, selfish children and thank God that I have been so blessed.
I am really enjoying your posts and am looking forward to reading older ones.