Saturday, March 13, 2010

Parenting other people's children

Not a post about Sabrina.

I got to spend last night with one of my favorite families. I think I've blogged about them before, but am too lazy to go look. They have four boys, the oldest three within three and a half years of each other (12 and a half, almost 11, 9) and the youngest 3 and a half. As you might imagine, there is quite a bit of sibling rivalry, noise, and stress in their house. As much as I like my friends, and as much as I know that I only see them at isolated points in time, nevertheless I have issues with how they discipline their kids. Lots of yelling. And I can't help but interject myself when I'm with them. I know, I know! I even apologized last night.

Still, as bad as it is, last night I got some really good snuggle time with three of the boys. (All but the oldest.) Most importantly, with the almost-11-year old. He has a lot of trouble with his brothers and is very very sensitive in a way that reminds me of me at his age. Last night he couldn't sleep and when he came downstairs, his dad didn't exactly yell, but had some strong words about how he was going to be difficult in the morning because of not getting enough sleep. But not much sympathy for him not being able to fall asleep.

I was able to take him into the den and rub his back while he told me about how he can't fall asleep if he doesn't take his (psychiatric) medication at the exact right time, and then he opened up to me about his brothers and school and all sorts of stuff. I was glad I could be there for him.

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