New parents will often ask me questions about how to raise children because I have five children, none of whom are (currently) in jail.

Asking me for parenting advice is a bad idea but I understand what it’s like to have many children and not know what you’re doing. The Bible tells us to be fruitful and multiply but after that the Bible kinda’ hangs us out to dry. Well, that’s where I step in, I guess. I decided I’d like to help other parents by offering the beginnings of a database of fracas’ they’ll eventually encounter after they’ve been fruitful.

Most Common Fracases:

“You’re in my spot!”- There’s going to be a spot on the couch that becomes THE most coveted spot by children in the house. And children, once in that spot, will not eat for days and will allow their bladder to expand to the size of Rhode Island before giving up THE SPOT. I once told my child that she was going to have to go to the hospital to have her tonsils removed and she asked whether she could have THE SPOT back when she came home from the hospital.

So when a child comes running to you complaining that they just got up from THEIR SPOT for one teeny tiny second and someone stole THEIR SPOT should a parent start inquiring how long the accused had been in the spot and what were the reasons for the accuser’s departure? You see, I tried that. It doesn’t get you anywhere. There are too many layers to this problem.

It seems to me that for bathroom breaks one shouldn’t lose title to their spot. But if one got up for a snack I believe that implies forfeiture of said spot. But what if they were also retrieving a snack for the person who took the spot? Ah. That’s where things get difficult.

Solution: You take the spot. And the snack(s). And don’t leave until you achieve bedsores.

“Hey, that’s Mine”: I don’t think I’ve gone a day in six years where I haven’t heard “Hey, that’s mine.” This is both common and complicated. It’s a bit tricky because older siblings can essentially lay claim to every toy or every piece of clothing in the house. And we can’t have an official passing down ceremony for every thing so sometimes things just pass on to younger kids. They just do. My eleven year old couldn’t fit a pair of pants past her shin but she got teary eyed when I proposed that the eight year old wear them.

The ten year old hasn’t looked at a Barbie in months but if she sees the three year old with her Barbie it’s like the three year old just reached in and took out her spleen.

Solution – With clothes it’s simple. If it don’t fit it must be handed down the line. But with toys it’s a little more difficult. If older child hasn’t touched aforementioned toy in four months (longer if it’s a seasonal toy) then it may pass on to whichever younger child becomes enamored with it. If there’s still fighting, threaten to give the toy to charity. That’ll quiet them down. The unfortunate side of this is that my children live in constant fear of needy children.

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register>>>