This Mom Has Such Great Advice For Making All Of Your Kids Feel Included
You could say that YouTube star Sarah Tannerites knows a few things about making kids feel included. A mom to seven kids ranging from 4 to 21 years old, she's constantly working to keeping kids of all ages engaged — a challenge that can become particularly daunting when the whole family is focused on one activity.
Sarah's secret to success is a combination of learning to find the balance between her kids' needs and wants, plus creating quality family time that everyone can enjoy. She's especially sensitive to inclusiveness when it comes to her younger kids, who tend to require a bit more attention.
Romper recently visited Sarah's family at their Saint George, Utah home to learn firsthand how she gets in quality time with her family of nine.
And to say we were impressed would be a serious understatement.
Keep scrolling to learn this energetic mom's helpful advice for other parents struggling to balance it all, plus get her tips about how she makes every single one of her children feel one-of-a-kind.
Make Family Time A Priority
In Sarah's home, prioritizing family time means that no one gets left out of the fun — from the 4-year-old all the way up to Sarah and her husband. A few activities that seem to be winners for the whole family? Outdoor adventures like hiking, swimming, playing tennis, riding bikes, and going for walks are family hits, and going to the movies tends to be a safe go-to option for indoor fun.
Considering how much time this group spends outside, Sarah emphasizes planning ahead to make sure she's bringing all of the must-have supplies, which always means lots of snacks.
"No matter what the activity, we love to bring snacks with us," she says. "Lunchables are a great option because, no matter the age, all of our kids love them!" Plus, the new Lunchables with Natural Meat and Cheese are made with minimally processed meat and cheese, making them a great snack for the whole family to enjoy together.
Look For New Opportunities For One-On-One Time
This may seem like it goes without saying, but as Sarah's motherhood journey has evolved over time, so has her strategy for how she manages to sneak in alone time with each kid.
"When I was a new mom, family time was so different," Sarah says. One child meant a lot more one-on-one time, and fewer worries about whether anyone felt left out.
Now that Sarah's family has expanded, finding one-on-one time requires a little more thought and preparation, like planning a simple outing, or even taking one of her kids around town to run errands alongside her. "One-on-one time doesn't have to be extravagant. It just needs to show your child that you love them, listen to them, and that your time with them is important."
Get Everyone Involved
One way that Sarah connects her family is by encouraging all her children to participate with one another. "Our older kids love to see the younger kids succeed, and they're happy to assist in any way they can," she says. "Maybe that's helping them put on their shoes, getting them a Lunchables out of the fridge, or helping them swim without floaties." Encouraging her older children to help her younger children builds a stronger connection between kids of different ages, ultimately making it easier to spend time together as a whole family.
Know When To Step In
Inevitably, group activities can mean that some people feel left out of the fun. "Recognizing that your kids are feeling left out can be tricky," Sarah says, noting that her 4-year-old acts out when he's feeling left out, while her 10-year-old removes herself from the environment altogether.
Noting these signs makes Sarah better equipped to deal with issues when they arise. "Most of the time, they just need us to drop what we're doing and give them a little one-on-one time," she says. "Talking, tickling, playing a game, having a snack, or just cuddling for a minute." Even just a few minutes of quality time can make a huge difference.
If at first you don't succeed, Sarah stresses that you shouldn't hesitate to try a new approach. "Keep trying new activities and learning what your kids do and don't like to do," Sarah suggests, noting that it's helpful to give each kid a turn to pick an activity. "Everyone is different, so they won't always like what you're doing, but they can go along with it and then, the next time, it will be their turn to choose."
To learn more about Sarah and her family, check out the video below!
This post is sponsored by Lunchables.