Jealous Siblings and Other Such Nonsense

One question I get asked a lot is if any of my children are jealous of the new baby.  I can honestly say I have never had this happen.  I have never had a child ask me to send back a younger sibling or act like they hate the new baby.  Which makes me curious…why is this?

Well, because I’m pretty sure this whole jealously thing is a lot of nonsense.

Jealous Siblings & Other Such Nonsense - the answer to what's really behind it from a mom of 9 | RaisingArrows.net

Before I end up with scads of email telling me I’m all sorts of wrong about this, hear me out.  If at the end of this post you still believe I’m wrong, feel free to let me know.

Sibling jealousy is often nurtured.

Sometimes it comes from mom and dad, sometimes a well-meaning grandparent, sometimes from Joe Schmoe down the street…someone says something that seems harmless and the little kid wheels start turning.  For instance, Grandma tells little Timmy that when his new baby sister is born he might feel like he’s not getting any attention, but his parents really do love him.

Hello?!  Let’s just set the little guy up for failure, shall we?

Or what about mom and dad who bend over backward to try to keep little Timmy from feeling jealous with presents and coddling.  Or maybe the opposite happens and mom and dad suddenly focus all their attention on this tiny creature, all the while making it very clear that Timmy is “in the way”.

Don’t encourage jealousy with your words and actions.  As adults, we are the ones these little people take their cues from.  If your cues are suggesting they *should* be jealous of a new baby, then they *will* be jealous.

Jealousy stems from confusion.

We have always made the new baby a part of the family from the time he or she is a tiny little bump in mama’s belly.  The baby is an addition, not a replacement, and our children are encouraged to dream about baby, shop for baby, talk about baby, and ask questions about baby long before the baby joins the family on the outside.

If you avoid talking about baby and letting your little ones interact with the baby before he or she is born, you end up surprising your child with a kicking, screaming doll that is terrifying.  Mom and Dad spend a lot of time dealing with this tiny human, and little Timmy is totally confused about who this person is and how he is supposed to interact if he’s never been told this baby is “his” too.

Yes, your child may be too young to understand (my little Creed couldn’t even remember me without a belly, and he certainly had no concept of what a baby really was), but don’t let that stop you from talking about baby and including your child in baby related activities like shopping for baby and baby showers.

Jealous siblings see the new baby as YOURS, not OURS.

Jealous Siblings & Other Such Nonsense - the truth behind sibling rivalry from a mom of 9 | RaisingArrows.net

We talk about OUR baby.  We tell our toddlers the new baby is THEIR baby.  We make sure they know this new little one is a part of OUR family, and we talk about what it means to be a part of OUR family.

They come to the hospital.  We encourage them to hold baby.  We let them join in diaper changes, baths, and feeding.  We are in this together ,and baby is an addition to our family dynamic that we all get to enjoy.

But, if a parent excludes their other children from the day to day routine of having a new baby, or they never talk about baby being OUR baby, a toddler or older sibling may get the impression the baby isn’t someone they should pay attention to or bond with.

All this aid, my biggest gripe with this whole sibling jealousy thing is…

Sibling jealousy is talked about way too much.

Any little sign of a child feeling jealous and we jump on the “we might warp them if we don’t do something quick” bandwagon.  We are so busy trying to nurture our poor jealous child’s psyche, we end up making things worse!  We run to grandparents, friends on Facebook, and even strangers in the supermarket to get their opinion on jealous siblings.  All the while, our little children are wondering what you are so in a tizzy over, but the attention they are getting sure is fun!  It doesn’t matter if the perceived jealousy is real or not, if little Timmy can milk it, he will.

He may actually be feeling a little left out and confused by this new person in his home, but if you run around like a crazy person, stressing over everything he says and feels, he’s not going to feel MORE secure, he’s going to wonder what is going on and act out even more!  Stop talking about it so much.  Stop stressing over it!  Bring little Timmy alongside you and baby and show him that having a new baby in the house is just the way things are and everyone is better for it.

I truly believe many “modern” sibling issues are a lot of hype.  We American parents stress over everything it seems.  Somehow we’ve got to get a grip and just be parents…be a family…have a life!  No more majoring in the minors.  Let’s enjoy our families!  Let’s show them just how wonderful and special new babies are.  Let’s try to keep things low key and normal.  No more jealous sibling nonsense!

So, now that I’ve laid it on the line, I’d love to hear from you!  Be respectful, but feel free to share your thoughts on sibling rivalry, especially pertaining to bringing a new baby into the house.  And if you have questions, feel free to leave those here too!  Raising Arrows readers are always more than willing to help other moms out!

DrinkBands Giveaway in Time for Easter!

It’s time to start planning for your Easter celebrations!  One thing you should consider adding this year is a set of DrinkBands.

DrinkBands Giveaway on RaisingArrows.net

If you give gifts to your children for Easter, wouldn’t it be fun to add a personalized DrinkBand in their favorite color to their Easter basket?

Are you having guests over?  Keep everyone’s cups separate with a set of DrinkBands!

Win a set of DrinkBands! | RaisingArrows.net

There are tons of colors to choose from.  You can personalize any color with your child’s name or nickname.  You can also bundle packs together and save!  They are wonderful to have on hand for company, and they make great gifts.  Grab a pack to leave at Grandma’s!  Grab a pack to give to a friend!  Shipping in the U.S. is always FREE!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

You know DrinkBands are a favorite here on Raising Arrows, so how about a giveaway?!

I’m giving away the DrinkBands shown above – a 9 Pack of Regular and a Party Pack (including the new Funky Tie Dye band!)  Enter the giveaway below (click here if reading via email):
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{GIVEAWAY} Kings of Israel – The Cooperative Board Game Your Entire Family Will Enjoy!

Kings of Israel Cooperative Game - Review & Giveaway on RaisingArrows.net

“This game is awesome!”
~Blake (17)

About a year ago, I asked you to help fund the Kings of Israel board game.  Today, that board game is available, and yes, it IS awesome!

Let me tell you a little about how the game works…

First of all this is a cooperative game, meaning you play against the game and not each other.  For our family, this means a couple of things.
1.  Our 14 year old daughter will play the game because she really detests competitive games…and
2.  Our entire family can play together (with help).
Note:  Kings of Israel is a mentally involved game where strategy is important.  Because of this, it is geared more toward teens; however, with a little help our elementary aged students have been able to play.

KOI4

 

In the game, each player is a prophet of Israel trying to build altars to destroy sin as the team works together through the the timeline of the Kings of Israel.  Each player draws a card at the beginning of the game to tell them what special action they have that will help the other team members out.  (For instance, you might draw a card that allows you to destroy all sin in an area every time an altar is built there.)

KOI1

There are 4 things you do each turn, and every player plays every round.  Sin builds with each round.  Where you are on the timeline of kings determines what kind of cards you draw that round.  The game is ever changing, and difficult enough that you will not win every time you play.  Because of the adaptability of this game, it will be a family favorite for years and years!

This has become a game Blake enjoys playing with friends.  He even took it with him on a recent trip!  The other children enjoy it a lot too, but Blake is definitely my kid with the strategic mind. ;)

As a mom, I am pleased with the quality craftsmanship.  I am also impressed that the makers of Kings of Israel (Funhill Games) have created a Biblically-based game that is intriguing, interesting, and intelligent.  I am always pleased when I see Christians working hard to create top-of-the-line products.  

By purchasing products like Kings of Israel, you are helping to support and promote these types of endeavors by fellow Christians.  And stay tuned to Funhill Games…I expect even more great things from them in the near future, including a Kings of Israel video game version!

Kings of Israel Coupon Code

Use coupon code: KINGSPRO when you buy from Amazon and get 20% off retail price.  This coupon code will expire on April 16, 2015. (affiliate link)

>> CLICK HERE TO ORDER <<

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The coupon code is not working properly on Amazon, so Funhill Games has reduced the price there so you do not need a coupon code.  When this issue is resolved, the price will go back up and the code will work.

Funhill Games is also generously giving away 3 Kings of Israel games here on Raising Arrows!  Follow the directions below to get your family entered into this giveaway.  Winner will be announced here on Friday!  (Reading via email?  CLICK HERE to enter.)
(Note:  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only due to cost-prohibitive shipping prices.)

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Why Single-Serve Coffee Makers are Large Family Friendly

Are Single-Serve Coffee Makers worth it for the large family?  I would have said no way...until my in-laws bought us one.  Here's why I've changed my tune and would go so far as to say they are actually PERFECT for the large family! | RaisingArrows.netI need to start this post by telling you that for several years my personal opinion of single-serve coffee makers has been that they are frivolous, non-essential kitchen gadgets. I would see a giveaway for one online and think, “what a waste…especially for a large family.”

{affiliate links}

So, when my in-laws bought us one (a Keurig, as you can see from the photo) for Christmas, I was thankful, but really not sure I wanted to give up counter space for a “toy.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like coffee…a lot.  In fact, my coffee and creamer is one of the few things I haven’t been willing to give up for Trim Healthy Mama.  But one cup at a time?  Just make a whole pot!  My philosophy has been whoever gets to the coffee maker first, has the right to choose the coffee that gets brewed.  Deal with it.  But, I have to admit when Ty gets there first and makes that nasty chicory stuff, I’m sorry I’ve held to such a philosophy.

But, is that really a good reason to own a single-serve?

Are Single-Serve Coffee Makers worth it for the large family?  I would have said no way...until my in-laws bought us one.  Here's why I've changed my tune and would go so far as to say they are actually PERFECT for the large family! | RaisingArrows.net

And what about the price of those single serve cups (K cups as Keurig calls them)?  My husband really likes his Caribou Coffee – something we can’t get where we currently live – but is it worth it to buy the K cups?  No, not really…but it sure is fun!  However, that said, we’ve found a way around this by using reusable cups…more on that in a moment!

My 10 year old daughter prefers tea over coffee.  She likes fruity blends like Grandma’s Garden.  Several others in the family have started drinking tea as well – some loose leaf, some tea bags.  Oh, and don’t forget the hot cocoa drinkers.

After mulling this all over, I decided to embrace this whole single-serve thing.  It didn’t take my husband nearly that long to decide it was pretty awesome.  Guys like gadgets. ;)

Now that we’ve had the Keurig for several weeks, I must say my poor coffee pot NEVER gets used.  Having a single-serve coffee maker has made it where everyone can have exactly what they want, and switch it up as often as they’d like.  I also don’t have to worry about a scalding hot tea pot on the stove or a wasted pot of coffee because it took too long to brew or we just plum forgot about it.

Let me give you an idea of how we’ve made it work…

For the tea bags and hot cocoa, the children simply push the button and run hot water through the machine.  This is also how we brew our iced tea.  Drop the bags (or powder) into the hot water and steep.

We do have some K cups, but we also purchased a reusable one (I want to get another one and keep our tea and coffee separate which is why I’m recommending this 2 pack).  Having a reusable cup means you can use ANY coffee or loose leaf tea.  We can often get 2 brewings out of each round as well, saving even more.

One quick note for you tea lovers…the Keurig doesn’t boil the water, so it doesn’t hurt the tea.  We brew the tea and then let the cup sit for a bit to “steep”.  It’s not a “perfect” cup of tea, but it’s pretty good.

We do have a K cup holder, but I wouldn’t recommend the one we have.  The two shown below would be much better than what we have because they hold more, are more compact, and the cups are less apt to fall out all over the place.

Other Resources: (some just for fun!)

*How to Clean Your Keurig
*The History of Coffee from International Coffee Organization
*Coffee Unit Study
*How to Make Your Own Loose Leaf Tea

How Blogging is Changing (and why I think that’s a good thing for you and me!)

It took me about 10 minutes to create this graphic:

The concept of blogging is changing.  Here are my thoughts on what that changes are and how they will affect readers and bloggers. | RaisingArrows.net

I did that so you could easily pin it on Pinterest.  It’s not what is considered the “perfect” dimensions for Pinterest, but I don’t have time to do any better than this.

When this post comes out, I’ll tweet it on Twitter and post it on Facebook…I hope.  If I was really doing things “right”, I’d post to Google+ and figure out some cute way to Instagram it. (Instead, I think I’ll just post cute pics of my kids and our homeschool day.)

It would be great if I could work into the post a way to ask you to subscribe to the blog or buy my ebook, but the baby is crying, so that will have to wait for another day.

Oh, and I really ought to work at making sure this post has great SEO (that means search engines like Google like it), and I really should try to meet the needs of every single person in cyberspace, whether they loyally read my blog or not.

Phew!

There’s a reason I wrote a post last year saying I was done knocking myself out with this blogging thing!  I had just moved and just found out I was pregnant with baby #9, and I was at a crossroads with my blogging.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was going to continue to blog at all.  I felt I had run out of words and steam.  After several years of professionally blogging, all of its rules had worn me down.

Ty and I prayed over the blog and decided to change how I was doing things, even if it meant less pageviews, less income opportunities, and less growth for Raising Arrows.  We decided it was time to go back to my blogging roots and just write.

And I wasn’t the only one…

I began to notice a change in the blogging world.  Crystal of Money Saving Mom announced she was going back to a more personal feel on her blog as she shared her real life with her readers.  Jeni at The Blog Maven started focusing on how to blog AND have a life by blogging smarter.  Bloggers who had been around a long time were coming full circle and letting go of many of the expectations of professional blogging in favor of reaching out with real life and real content.  They started telling stories, being real and candid, and giving you the kind of content you need without overwhelming their schedule and your inbox.

For me, this means blogging has become more enjoyable because it has stopped being about doing everything “right” and has gone back to sharing, mentoring, and fellowshipping.

In fact, this is so near and dear to my heart that this October, I’ll be speaking at the 2:1 Conference in Kitty Hawk on the topic of how you can build a blog without losing yourself.  I’ll be sharing a lot of my own journey as I encourage bloggers to do what works for them.

2:1 Conference 2015

I want readers to come to Raising Arrows because what they find here is useful.  I want them to stay because they’ve found a friend.  I hope as more bloggers recognize a need to slow down and offer better content, the internet will become less noisy.  But, even more than that, I pray that bloggers and readers will have more time to live their offline lives in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord!

Some questions for you as readers…
1)  How many posts per week do you like to see on a blog?
2)  Do you like posts coming to your inbox or are you more apt to read randomly?
3)  On which social media platform are you most likely to interact with a blogger?
4)  What are some of your favorite blogs and why?

Thank you to those of you who take the time to answer these questions!  Your answers will help with my session at 2:1!  If you are interested in attending the 2:1 Conference this fall, click HERE to learn more!