One day I realized that with so many kids vying for my attention, I wasn't really getting close to any of them. I was overwhelmed with managing all of their activities and couldn't imagine changing anything. I started meeting with my kids one on one in a way that I could manage at the time. When I ran my errands I would leave all of the kids behind except one. I couldn't believe how much I learned about each kid just by getting them alone. The family dynamic is strong and every person has a role to play. For the kids who are naturally loud, their voices may be heard anyway, but as parents we may miss some aspects of the kids who follow along unless we get them alone. We can't parent what we don't know. I have learned that the most important thing I can encourage my child to do is to talk to me.