5 Tips For Parenting

Well, here it is Friday again - wow this week has flown by! Of course, my days and timing on everything were completely thrown off by the holiday weekend. But today, I'm happy to introduce you to Amber from Confessions From Boys Town as my guest blogger!


Amber has 3 boys so believe me, she knows how to handle kids. She also has a great sense of humor so I know you will enjoy her post! Amber, take it away.....

5 Tips to Make Parenting Easier

With so many 'Self Help' books out there on How NOT to Screw Up Your Child, you must be asking yourself "How could this completely imperfect mom give me tips on anything?  I've read her blog- she's a loon!  I mean, really now- if she's now considered an expert, we're all doomed to failure."

Hold on, now.

Did you just say that you read my blog?


But I digress.  you should listen to my sage advice because I'm just that- a crazy mom of 3 boys that has survived thus far without having been committed to an insane asylum.  Those are credentials you can't buy, folks.  Those are badges of honor- with war wounds to show for it- earned on the battlefield of the Motherland.

So, let's get on with the freak show, shall we?

#1- Keep your cool.  Easier said than done, I know.  Kids like to test their limits you've set, though, so inevitably you're going to want to sell them on the black market (eBay & Craigslist don't allow it, so don't try).  However, if you keep your cool, you'll always have the upper hand.  Kids are like devious little raptor-like creatures- they look for the weak points and then attack.  My oldest tried asking me something while I was sleeping the other day, and when I got mad later, he claimed that I had mumbled "ok".  Don't get mad, folks- keep calm and get even.  The next day he woke up to find I was cleaning up after having made pancakes for the rest of the family.  When he got mad, I just explained that I had asked him while he was sleeping if he had wanted to join us, and he had mumbled "no", soooo...  He got the point.

#2- Get creative.  Not just in how you deal with punishments (see above), but in everything.  Won't clean their room?  Have you tried getting them to race against the clock?  Other siblings?  Reward them with cheapie medals- kids love that stuff.  I bought a box of 12 from Target for around $2.  Start a "Caught Doing Good" jar, where a dime is put in every time they're caught doing something good- maybe 2 if its something you didn't even have to ask them to do.  When the jar is full, they get to go to the store.  (Not only is it a moment to moment incentive, but they can see visually how well they've been doing AND they have a goal to aim for!)

#3- Call for reinforcements.  No, this doesn't mean using your spouse as back up- although, in this house, that happens quite often (hey, God gave him to me as a partner!).  No, it means lean on your friends.  Did you know that in many cultures, extended family and immediate family all live together?  And if they don't live in the same house, they live close enough to visit frequently.  The saying "It takes a village to raise a child" came about because, when one woman in the village had a child, the rest of the villagers would pitch in to help.  It not only enabled the child to experience different points of view on things and different aspects of life, but it helped the mother with her sanity.  Whether you're a man or a woman, when you're the main caretaker, you need a release.  You need someone to complain to when things are rough and want to tear your hair out.  Maybe you don't have a "village", but you've got 1 really great friend- lean on them for support.  When you find yourself hiding in a coat closet to keep from being found, call your friend from your cell so they know where to find you when they haven't heard from you in a while.  When you're about to go crazy because Yo Gabba Gabba characters are the only voices you've heard that day, call your friend to remind you what an adult voice sounds like.  And when you're at the end of your rope and are about to tie your kiddo up with it, call your friend and use code words...

I'm kidding!  Geez, a few crazies have ruined it for all the rest of the fun semi-crazies.

#4- K.I.S.S.  Keep It Simple, Silly.  When reprimanding your kids, keep it simple- they probably tuned you out 5 words in, anyways.  When cleaning, keep it simple- NO ONE looks under the couch or at the baseboards.  When planning your week (or day), keep it simple- you can't get it all done, so just concentrate on the necessary and fit in the other stuff.  Don't go tryin' to accomplish both- a wise person once said "He (or she) who tries to be master of all, is master of none."  And when it comes to dinner, keep it simple.  When you're at your wits end, don't berate yourself for breaking out the mac 'n' cheese... again.  Crock pot meals are great for something more healthy, but don't feel bad if you just feel like giving your kiddos cereal for dinner.  Heck, buy a special cereal that's JUST for those nights.  It'll seem more special if they can only have it certain times.  There's not a kid on Earth that would turn up their nose at having Capn' Crunch at 6 p.m. if that's the only time they get it.

And, last 'pearl 'o' wisdom', #5- Duct Tape.  'Nough said.


Now after you leave your comment love here, please go give some to Amber!

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Kathy said...

I always love when I visit a blog I love and there is a guest blogger from another blog I love!! It's great to have you both at the same place!! Thanks Nan!! Amber, thanks for a great post, always with your wonderful twist of humor. I also complelty agree with everything (never have tried the duct tape though! Lol!) you wrote. Keeping a sense of humor really helps and it does seem to keep the kids off balance! I once wrote about how when I was ready to see the kids one day at dinner I started to sing oprea and made them all sing back to me!! Suffice it to say we all started laughing hystercially and nobody got sold that night!! I love the story about your son and the pancakes, brilliant mommy!! Thanks again, I'm big fans of both of you!!

SortaSuperMom said...

Thanks Kathy! Luckily for my kids, I've never tried Duct Tape, either, although, I HAVE seen a Mythbusters episode where it showed that it basically CAN be used for anything, sooo... no one ever said you can't threaten, right? Right?? Please tell me that I'm not going to see CPS at my door soon, lol.

Becky Jane said...

I'm all for the duct tape! Or as my brother threatened his kids with...a Velcro room and Velcro suits for the kids!
Humor goes a looooong way in raising kids!

Callie said...

I love the get creative tip. I think I'll need to invest in a "caught doing good" jar. Fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing your advice! MUCH appreciated!

SortaSuperMom said...

Becky- I LOVE the idea of a 'Velcro room', but I'd just be too tempted to try it out myself... and then how would I get down...?

Callie- THANKS! I got the idea from one of my oldest's teachers. We tried it with just using plain M'n'Ms, but I found they were getting eaten WELL before the jar got full... by me. Never a good thing. So we changed to dimes. So far, I haven't eaten a one.

Nan @ Playful Decor said...

Thanks Kathy! I love it when you visit!

Callie & Becky Jane - Thanks you for commenting! Amber is awesome! And such a great reminder to keep the humor going....something I tend to forget in the heat of the moment.

Funny the velcro room is mentioned - my hub and I often talk about a padded room to let them go crazy in and literally bounce off the walls!

Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating said...

These are great tips- especially for a new parent like me who is still learning the ropes. Nan- I'm so sorry but the giveaway for the Dremel was a few weeks ago. :( If I have another one I'll be sure to let you know! Thanks for the tips on my blog, and I hadn't thought of online design services...I'll have to look into it!

classic • casual • home said...

Great advice. Call for reinforcements--love that. We just sent our youngest off to college and I feel so fortunate that our kids are good people and doing well--considering I tried my best but didn't know what I was doing half the time. Fun post.

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