My question is: how do I get my older children to not grumble about having to take turns playing with my preschooler while I homeschool? They grumble about making lunch for their younger sisters at times too.
Thank you, and congratulations on little Joe!
Recently I asked my husband about how to admonish one of our teen children. He (the child) is 500% more logical than I am, and it seems every conversation was a battle of wits for which I am ill-equipped. My husband said, "Turn to Scripture. The bottom line is, if God said it, we have to obey it. If the Holy Spirit isn't prompting him, then all the arguing in the world won't change his heart."
Teens love to test the waters. And even if we have an excellent relationship with them, they will often grumble when they don't want to do something and argue their point to the death. For my son, his logical spin on everything is both a front-sided strength and a back-sided weakness; he is interested in heading to law school to study Constitutional Law. His tenacity and love for rhetoric and debate will serve him well in that capacity, but in the meantime he also needs to learn when to turn it off and just be a servant to those around him.
When appealing to your older children, turn to Scripture. Don't beat them over the head with it, but simply remind them that, "He who is greatest in My kingdom is the servant of all."
You might want to pick up a copy of Do Hard Things, as well. My boys have been really challenged by the book, although it has been a slow and steady influence (I was hoping they'd read it and then -BAM!- be the hardest workers on the block!). The Holy Spirit's timing is never the same as mine :)