How To Encourage Individuality In A Large Family

Having a large family can be a challenge. I know this first hand. A few days ago my friend Dani of OKDani posed a question: “For parents of 3 or more kids: what are your challenges with a family that size?” I read it a few times and here is what my answer was…

Families with 3 or more kids often face challenges other families may not simply because people automatically classify us as ‘large’. Besides the obvious ones like cost of living, travel and education, trying to make sure each member of your family has the chance to be their own unique selves can be a challenge all it’s own.
My youngest started kindergarten this year and for the first time all three of my younger children were out of the house. Whew! That’s a post in itself. That very first day I went to the pick up line I remember hearing the staff call for them as “The Haywood Crew”. I thought it was cute. I still do. Yet this tendency to group them as one can make it so easy for children in a large family to loose sight of their individual identities.

As a parent, trying to avoid this doesn’t have to be hard. I’ve found a few ways to help me encourage individuality in spite of our large family. Making sure my children know that e en though they may be one of many they are still important as who they are as an individual. Here are a few ways I do it.

Pursue Your Passion

Passions can be such a large part of who we are as people. What you love to do can have a great impact on who you become. I always encourage each of my children to find something they are passionate about and pursue it. Whether it be art, music, sports or simply learning something new I want them to know they have the opportunity to go after it with their whole heart and all our support.

It can be so easy to say “we have too many kids for that” trust me – it would definitely be a lot easier. I currently have 3 days each week when I have to make 3 separate trips to my kids school for pickups from each of their activities. It’s far from easy. Yet easy isn’t always best. Seeing my kids faces when they get in the car after having an awesome practice, meeting or club day makes the extra sacrifice totally worth it! Knowing that what makes them happy doesn’t need to depend on what makes their sibling happy is a gift that will go with them for life.

Time To Shine


Now different activités means different moments to shine. If you take a look at our family calendar you would see how many different places we need to be throughout any given week. For each of those places there’s the potential for each moment to become a life long memory for that child. There are memories from my childhood that I’m sure my Grandmother didn’t see as monumental but they helped me to become the person I am today. I want that for my children as well.

In our family we all know that when it’s someone’s moment we give them their time to shine. If my oldest has an art show then we will all be at that art show. Cheering, Oohing and Aahing the passion she is pursuing. The same applies for my son’s karate tournament or my daughter’s dance recital. As individuals they each deserve their moment in the spotlight. Their time to shine. The confidence that is given in those moments will last them a lifetime while encouraging their individuality along the way.

Like I said in the beginning, it doesn’t take much to make a great impact in your child’s life as an individual in a large family. Just a few purposed choices and decisions. So now I ask you…

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Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee. Tiffany is a BlogHer VOTY Award Honoree as well as a Contributing Author with Modern Social f/k/a iBlog Magazine and BlogHer. Growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion. As a Brand Ambassador, Tiffany has the opportunity to promote and support the brands she loves the most with her own unique perspective. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show.
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