How do you find enough time for each child?

This is a great question! It is usually asked by parents who spend a good deal of time with their one or two children, then do the math and find out they need 25 hours in a day to fit it in for a family our size. “It is impossible,” they reason, “so a family of 13 kids must be more neglected than a small family.”

Large families know that this isn’t the case. We believe it is because parents are overly emphasized. The kids help each other and develop sibling relationships that, amazingly, substitute for the need for parents to fill that relational need. We try to find time for all our kids and work hard to accommodate, but we often will group them together. The older kids often stay up later than the little ones to enjoy one another or have the deeper conversations that they require.

Other ideas that allow us to find time for each child:

  • Chris takes one kid to work one per week. It takes nearly three months to work through all the kids, but the time is rich.
  • I (Wendy), when having to run to the store for something, will take one child. This gives me the time to talk individually with him or her.
  • When a child brings me a cup of coffee in the morning, I take the time to talk with them.
  • I give the child one-on-one time in our daily school.
  • We pray corporately at night before sending the kids to bed, but I (Wendy) tuck the kids in bed individually.

Noah’s Bigwheel

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://eblonkvistyahoo.com emily

    I couldn’t help but feel sorry for your oldest daughter. I got the impression that she felt there just wasn’t enough room for her. Large families are great, but I do feel that children do need individual attention and time. You all do a wonderful job raising your family and there need not be a contest in the number of children that families have. We should all simply enjoy the ones that we have and not always want more.

  • Julie Skinner

    sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my 3 kids. (And yes, I’m responding quite a bit on your website this am.) Most of the time I know it is because they are so dependent on me for their moods, their every move. They simply do not want to do independent time. I’m with them 7 days a week, my husband on the weekends when he is off work. If he tries to fit in a break for me on the weekends, the kids are in tears like they are going to die during the 3 hours I get alone.

    I’ve tried to incorporate the one on one time. Take one child to the store. Amazingly, when they aren’t all together, there is no need to *fight* for mom’s time, and therefore, they feel more satisfied.

    It’s amazing how little time alone it really takes to fill that child up. Unlike the other poster, who if she was speaking of the 14 year old and not the 2 adult children you have, I think that she enjoyed her role. She seemed very managerial and happy to care for her siblings. Like she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve never seen such a well adjusted 14 year old! (well, from what the television program showed us)

  • a. castro

    “The kids help each other and develop sibling relationships that, amazingly, substitute for the need for parents to fill that relational need. ”

    WOW! That’s horrible. Maybe you didn’t mean to put it that way, but a parent is a parent, and a sibling is a sibling and the two are not interchangeable.

    The developmental stage of a human beings “childhood” is one that is filled with needs. Adulthood, is hopefully the stage where most basic needs have been met and fulfilled(by grown adults in childhood). How can you pass the buck so easily to your other children? Helping your parents out is not the same thing as being obligated to pick up their responsibilities. Something tells me your children don’t have the freedom of choice to help you all. I could be wrong. I hope so.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Debbie

    To: A. Castro

    I would describe the Jeub kids very differently from experience. We have two children, 10 and 15 years old and love the opportunity to enjoy the Jeub’s children. I would describe them as sweet, fun, mischievous, opinionated, hospitable, capable, affectionate, and helpful.

    These seem like all of the things that make up healthy kids to me. Their two oldest daughters who we also know grew up to be self sufficient and contributing members of society.

    Debbie K. – Mom to two great sons.

  • Marsha B.

    Another comment for A. Castro

    I’m an only child, have been for 44 years, I never had the opportunity, nor will have, to develop sibling relationships. My husband has 5 siblings-I can tell you we grew up very differently. I love my parents, but they could not always stop what they were doing to “fill my needs”. Sometimes I had to figure out how to fill my “needs” myself. Not all desires to be filled are really “needs”. My husband understands the relational dynamics of our children a lot quicker than I do. When the parents are gone from this world what relationships do you think will support their offspring? I already see it working in my husbands family and both parents are still with us. I like it when my children get together and plan to do something, the older ones have already been through what the younger ones are going through. Teaching or helping someone else accomplish something whether it be a project, a hug or a bandaged knee, helps reinforce learning in ones ownself. If I, the only child, hadn’t of had pets to tend to who could I have helped?Believe me when I say Chris & Wendy are there when their children really need them, just like mine were.
    I hope this helps your misunderstanding of the Jeub family.

  • Kristi Tripp

    I have to say, my younger children are much happier and content children than my older ones were. They ALWAYS have someone to help them and play with them. If anything, they have too many people at their beck and call and never learn patience because someone’s always right there to help them! My older children enjoy helping the younger ones because it makes them feel special and important. We have buddies in my family (only 6 kids, so not tons of buddies lol) and the older is paired with the younger when out and about (parks and playgrounds) and when home (after dinner cleaning up and bathtimes,etc). Also when I’m busy the older one will read to and get snacks for the younger one. Not one bit of resentment and children who are very well rounded! Of course they get a chance to do what they want and run around and be kids- it’s actually a GREAT balance.

  • Laura W.

    I have two boys. But until recently I worked full time for 15 years. I had barely any energy for any meaningful “one on one” with my oldest even when he was my only, more often than I care to recall. But I tried. Now I am home and I realized something right away that amazed me: Now that I’m there so much more, these moments just happen. I can drop what I’m doing and go to a child who calls for me instead of “oh honey, can’t you just tell me from here – mommy’s tired.” Truly, I did not have ANY concept of being a mom without working full time so I did not realize that this would be the benefit: not having to PLAN or schedule moments so much.

    I mention this only because I see that not only is Wendy at stay at home mom, but she homeschools. Plenty of natural opportunities to acknowledge each child all day I would think.

  • Michelle M.

    I only have one son so far. I came from a small family, a very dysfunctional small family. From the glimpse given by TLC it seems that the Jeub kids are well educated and socialized. How could you not be with that diversity in ages and personalities? So size does not matter! Good parenting and faith matter. God bless you and keep up the good work.

  • Jennifer

    My husband grew up with 5 other kids in the family, and he is an identical twin. Their father was usually at work until past dinner and when the youngest reached school age their mother went to work part time. My husband loves to talk about growing up with all those kids — he was never lonely and he learned a lot of social skills because negotiation and compromise were necessary to make things run smoothly. I have only one sister and we are 2 yrs apart. We barely spoke to each other growing up and I have not seen her in over 10 yrs. My mom spent her time watching soaps after work at night and my dad worked from 2-10 p.m. most of his life.Small family size does not always equal happiness or parental one-on-one time. Each family is different.

  • Jennifer

    I think that the Jeub family are doing a great job. I think a lot of people don’t agree with it because society can be very worldly. A lot of people feel that their children must have the newest things going. We have five children, and I would love to have more. Best of luck Jeubs. I think you are great

  • Kathy

    Hi Chris & Wendy

    I just wanted to say thank you for letting the world into your life. I just saw your story on T.V. last week for the first time. I am a mom of two currently pregnant with #3 determined to be a stay at home mom now. I have Homeschooled my children for the past 4 yrs and plan on doing so until all my children are finished with the high school yrs. I have read alot about you from your website and I have taken alot of tips and I am using alot of your daily living advice from having a budget and planning menus for the week to your views about Christmas. I look forward to cutting back on spending and being creative instead. I have noticed that some people who write to you may not always have the kindest of things to say, I hope you never take those comments personally. Some people cherish all that god is willing to give them and never take things for granted and others have bitterness inside for one reason or another and can only lash out. I am wondering do you have several shows that air on T.V. or did you just have the one show? I hope our paths cross someday you are a remarkable family.

    Thank You for your time

  • Jeani M. Brown

    Bottom line, the first command given to Adam and Eve by God was to “be fruitful and multipy”. All other debates, disagreements, or judgements from others are irrelevant. And God has kept his promise of blessings to your family as you do not appear to be a family left in need of anything based on what I have seen, heard, and read.

  • Sara

    I have to agree with the sibling relationships. I am a mom of 4 and when people ask me how I do it (yes, I get asked that…I cannot imagine having 14+) I frequently tell people that the more we had, the easier it got. And honestly, if we could have, we would have had more! The older kids tend to help with the younger ones and I do NOT believe this is me shirking responsibility as a mom. Promoting sibling relationships is not the same as removing yourself as a parent! To assume that is just silly. I’m sure that it was not meant to sound like she allows her older children to substitute for her as a parent, only that the bonds they develop with their siblings make it so that the relationships they build and maintain lessen the parental requirement. The kids are probably likely to go to one another with problems or when they need help than to ambush mom or dad. I do not think that is irresponsible, but encouraging! When these kids go out into the world to make their own way, they will be equipped with wonderful problem-solving skills and the ability to get along in nearly any environment. This is not a detrement, but an asset!

  • http://jeubfamily.com Amanda Finkbeiner

    I find it hard because it seems like my mum dosnt give me enough attion but with now 14.Holy. Good Job

  • http://dragonfryemeadow.blogspot.com tina

    I agree with your answer to this question!!! So nicely written! I am a mother of a large family as well. Although six of our 14 children were adopted within the past few years,I see very well how importand the relationships are between siblings. Yes, there are needs that us parents do meet in our children and those needs are very importand. There are also needs that siblings meet in each other which are just as important. In a large family siblings become each others peers. A pat on the back or great job from mom and dad means a lot but sometimes the impact of such things is greater when coming from a sibling. There also is a sense of belonging that is created amongst large families.

    Thanks for your web site!!! Beautiful family!!!

  • bernadette

    I am one of four children and my husband has only one sibling, an older brother. his mother was an only child and knew how lonely that was growing up so had two children of her own. now she is older both her parents have passed and she has no family besides her children (we have 4 little ones which bring her much joy) so i ask the very opionated people whom judge this family sometimes so harshly, what is really important in this life? my parents encouraged all their children to support/help one another. through this we are incredibly close and not once have we felt we missed out on time with our parents. and i could only image how much fun it would of been growing up with so many siblings as peers. and as for this impairing our “development” (a.castro) this has made for very well adjusted adults who have all gone on to be productive members of society. a teacher, a nurse, a carpenter and a mechanic.

  • Lisa Jones

    My husband and I only have one child and we love it but we spend a lot of our free time with other families, or helping larger families. We like to send the parents on a date and hang out with the kids. This is good for us and our daughter who gets lonely. I had four other siblings and loved that growing up. I spent so much more time with my siblings than our parents but was very happy about that. :) Thanks for sharing your life and being transparent. God uses families in different ways and sometimes even if it isn’t what we think it would be. Not everyone can be the foot or hand but what an amazing ministry your family has.

  • sandra

    “The kids help each other and develop sibling relationships that, amazingly, substitute for the need for parents to fill that relational need. ”

    I think this is true,and is not a bad thing.My kids are about 1 1/2 yrs apart,and they are very close.So many times the oldest can get the youngest to do something easily,when he doesn’t care to listen to us.
    My sister and I,otoh,are almost 7 yrs apart and had almost nothing in common.I didn’t get a lot of attention from my own parents,so I very much looked to the outside world for it (friends,neighbors,teachers,etc).I wish I had a sibling closer to my own age growing up.It does help to fill a gap that might be there for the others,and for the child himself,imo.