Hey Pandas, What’s Your Favorite Parenting Hack? (Closed)
What hack had/has the greatest impact on the ease of parenting?
Speak to them like they are actual humans, not morons. Use normal language and do not talk down. Treat them with respect and be interested in what they're doing and what they show you. You'll be amazed at how much better their behaviour is.
I'm an older sibling, not a parent but here is my "Older sibling/Parent hack". Show interest in their obsessions, encourage them when things don't always work out, and don't yell at them when they don't understand something.
Teach children to love books. Read to them before they go to sleep.
Once they’re old enough to talk and walk, treat them like you would treat a normal adult, no matter how small they are. Use the correct words and never baby words. Don’t scoff at their stupid questions, answer them seriously. Use the proper scientific names when it comes to something specific, like ‘what’s the name of this thing’.
It’s a parents job to teach consequences. If you do this, that will happen. Be consistent and firm with the rules which really matter, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
teach your kids how to sit and eat at a restaurant instead of having them staring at a tablet
Febreeze makes an excellent "anti-spider spray" for toddlers scared of spiders.
Don’t be overprotective and infantilize your child. Due to this I still don’t know how to cook (I mean I could but I MUST have supervision so I don’t hurt myself :/)
Don’t, for the love of god, berate your kid for crying. This gave me anger issues, which were also berated.
These two things probably make your better than half of the parent population.
Actually listening to her, to what’s important to her. Letting her make mistakes, thanking her for talking to me about difficult things, asking her what she needs (space/help).
My parents read us Greek myths at bedtime. Entertaining, plus we both knew a ton about Greek mythology before even starting school. I'd recommend doing this for multiple cultures!
If you have to cut pancakes, waffles, etc for more than a few kids, use a pizza cutter instead of a knife.
Not a parent, but if your kid is showing signs of independence, let him be
Behave how you would like them to behave. Don't just do this around them either; it never hurts to be the change you want to see.
I have a 5 year old daughter. When I do the dishes or vacuum I ask if she'd like to help, she's always excited to help. So she's learning to do household things & she sees it as a game.
When your young child is trying to explain something to you & you can't figure out what they're trying to say ask them to show you.
Having a sense of humor. Being able to talk to and laugh with them.
Not a parent, but there is a show on hulu called The Parent Test for anyone who has nothing to do and is looking for a juicy reality show where grown adults insult each other based on the way they parent.
There are a few things we implemented that worked for us. Each member of the family ... 1. has its own color for towels, toothbrush, picnic items, etc. 2. had a decision day. They each have two and we had one. 3. had a schedule for chores; we'd switch quarterly. 4. had a place in the car - always the same one. We gave first choice to the eldest. 5. had a place at the able - again, always the same one. This was taken from a book where to place people. Other: We had a paper on the wall and if we wanted to discuss something we'd put it in. We had monthly meetings.
PS Even 10 years later, they hate it when we sit at a round table in a restaurant because they are trying to figure out where they should sit. We all think it's funny because it's still there.
Put your phone down!!!
You only have this day with them once! Learn about early childhood development, because the first three years of their lives are the most formative years of their lives. All of their future relationships in life are based on their relationship with their primary caregiver(s) in those formative years. Routines are very important, it teaches them to trust their surroundings and what comes next. Keep chaos and drama out of your life. Hug them often and say I love you, show support and respect no matter what. Do not allow anyone to come before your children, especially not romantic interests, children do not need to compete for your attention with someone that's just showing up to chase your skirt. Be silly, make everything a lesson, but also make it fun. I'm a big fan of making up sound effects and silly songs. Don't sweat the small stuff and pick your battles. A strict parent will only teach their child to be a good liar. They are sponges watching and listening to everything you do and say, so do not insult their other parent in their earshot---they will thrive if both of their parents can coparent peacefully and respectfully, don't make your child pick sides or tattle on their other parent. Model healthy behaviors and growth, apologize to them when you lose your temper-- they are learning to resolve conflicts by watching you. Compliment your child and encourage them to have healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. If you read one story a night before bed, by the time they start kindergarten they'll have read somewhere around 5,000 books (I forget the exact number). Your child needs to see that they come first, and that their needs are always more important than your own!! That party, bar, boyfriend,drink or drug, etc, it will all be there later in life after you have invested fully in your child's life. Not saying to give up having independence or a social life, but don't waste the time you have with your children, especially while they are young. They grow fast, it's rough to have an empty nest. Every single child deserves to be loved and cherished, children are literally our future!! Please do not have more children than you can give individual attention to, that's unfair to them. Invest in their education and quality programs for them, but don't over schedule them either. Time for free play and imagination development is so important. We are all learning along the way. During the teenage years, they will tell you that they hate you, that just means you're doing your job protecting them. I always had my children's friends at our house for sleepovers, I don't know if little Suzie has a creepy pedophile uncle living in her basement --statistically, its usually a family friend or relative that is most likely to molest or harm your child, so tell your child how to trust an adult (even if it's not you) that no matter who tries to hurt them, they can and must tell; warn them and give them the tools to recognize and ask for help if anyone is doing bad touch or trying to kidnap them. Idk statistics for boys, but I know that 3 out of 4 girls are sexually assaulted/abused by the age of 18. Guard your children like they are the most precious investment/treasure that you'll ever have in life. Love them, cherish them, and if you are overwhelmed---ask for help, please!!!
My children are both on the spectrum. My daughter has major delays in communication while my son tends to avoid talking about how he feels, what he thinks, etc. I've found that the best way to connect with them is thru gaming. It's like if they aren't thinking about it then it's easier to open that 'window'. My daughter will sit on my lap to cuddle and my son will talk about his day. It's been a game changer for us.
Make sure they have four feet, fur and whiskers… then if your kids get pregnant you can sell the grandkids!
Bedtime reading, every night. Alternate with your other half, let kids see you reading and enjoying reading and go out of your way to get membership of a library or hit those thirft stores. Build a collection of books, always give them lots of choice and let THEM choose books at the library or store, don't force your tastes on them or opt for those crappy finger-wagging 'moral tale' type stories, who needs that junk.
You will build a reader - at least until they hit their teens and other distractions (particularly phones) sadly get in the way but I can guarantee you that if you start early (and i mean as soon as they're born and can sit on your lap and see those books) they - and you - will reap the rewards in their life and in their schoolwork.
I can make ANYTHING sound exciting. If the kids believe you love doing something they are more open to finding their own passion in it. We have homework? Omg yes!! I love homework. What is it…? Math!? I’m not very good at math but I LOVE learning it. Scared of the dentist? I love going to the dentist!! My teeth always feel so clean when I get done! And if I sit still and am brave I always get a new toothbrush and a STICKER. I LOVE STICKERS!!
It seems to work most of the time with my kids and other people’s kids. It’s all about the tone of your voice and facial expressions. Make sure that whatever you’re hyping them up over they don’t hear you speak negatively about it later on.
Just FYI I really do love doing homework with the kids but ABSOLUTELY hate the dentist. Sometimes I have to psych myself up before going lol.
It's cliche, but pick your battles. I refuse to die on the hill of whether you must eat your dinner, but I will die on the hill of "if you're hungry enough for a cookie, you're hungry enough to finish your green beans."
I don't have kids yet (I'm waiting until at least 32 (I'm currently 21)), but one thing I will never do is force my kids to do something. Or pressure them into doing something.
When someone told me to exercise, it made me not want to exercise, and eventually gave me a negative view of exercise. Now that I'm living at college, I'm trying to get myself to exercise for me, not for others.
Also, I was in choir for a few years, because everyone was encouraging me to do so. I was in choir 3rd until 9th grade, when I left to focus on activities I wanted to do. But in all honesty? I wanted to quit sooner. It was fun at times, sure, but as I went through middle school, a little voice in my brain was like: "Is this really what you want to do? I want to explore other options." But I didn't get the guts to tell my parents until the end of 9th grade. I could tell they were disappointed, especially since many other family members are/were in choir, but they agreed I should try out new things. Now that I'm at uni, though, I occasionally have the random relative say "You should get back into singing/choir." I just give them an uncomfortable smile and change the subject. NOTE: I do like singing, and have considered making my own music, I just didn't like choir.
So, please, don't force/pressure your kid into anything. Encourage them if/when they find something, but don't go overboard. Try not to live through your kids.
Books. Books and reading are not just for bedtime. Also don't try and force them to only read printed things. Audible has tons of stuff (yes even for little kids) and is still "reading". Take the time to read (and not necessarily only before bedtime) every time every day can be a time to read. Read the labels on things. Read the street signs.
And please, if you're not someone who likes to read aloud (valid) don't worry that your kid won't read or whatever. Just make sure to read around them and show them that reading is amazing. Use audible or screen readers or whatever to help fill in the hearing words aloud portion. There are videos on YouTube and the like of people reading books aloud for storytime that can be very useful.
Something my dad did when I was little and afraid of ghosts at night, he always said "oh, I've never seen a ghost and I would really like to, so if you see any send them to me". I've got three kids and it has worked wonders with them just as it did for me, I usually added that the kitchen was really messy so if the ghost didn't mind, maybe it could help me with the cleaning. The kids got so distracted and started thinking about what other things it could do, and voila, fear gone. Thanks dad!
Don’t dismiss friends who don’t or haven’t yet had their own kids. I don’t have kids, but I have helped raise 8 kids (ergo why I don’t want my own). My female friend group dismissed me as I wasn’t a physical mum. More fool them because I could easily have looked after their spawn to let them have a chance at hot food or drinks or a nap. I can change a nappy, feed, wind (it’s my biggest talent) and settle a baby. Heck. I can manage two at a time after having my sister’s preemie twins on my own overnight!
Pick another language for their entertainment/ screen time. Set the sound to the foreign language with subtitles in native language. Easy way to introduce another conversational language.
Best strategy I used when my daughters were little and started bickering: "time out on the couch" BUT they had to sit at opposite ends, they were not allowed to talk to each other or look at each other, and the number one rule was "NO laughing allowed"... then I'd go back to whatever I was doing (usually making or cleaning up from dinner) and in less than 5 minutes there were giggles galore. "You're not LAUGHING are you???" I'd call out, and they'd bust out laughing. Bickering over, nobody 'in trouble', worked every time!
When they became pre-teens and early teens, and started giving me "attitude" I'd "threaten" to come to the door when dropping off at their friends' homes or picking friends up/dropping off.... dressed with my sweat pants pulled alllll the way up to my armpits, baggy tshirt or hoodie tucked in, put all kinds of hair ties in random places in my long hair (sticking out all over), and do this thing with my lips -- dry my teeth and tuck my upper lip under itself, it would stick up there, looking RIDICULOUS... yes, I threatened to go out of the house and SEE THEIR FRIENDS like that! LOL! It stopped those attitudes immediately, and caused a big load of laughter and pleading 'please mom, donnnnnn't!' Yep I was a treat! haha!!
Having a sense of humour really does make a difference. Pick your battles, most of them aren't worth getting everyone upset. :)
Homeschool. No getting up early for the bus. No homework. No bullies. Just you and your kid.
i have two. the first was when my teen son refused to attend summer school for his poor english grades. i gave him the choice of his summer school or mom's summer school. he chose the latter. so, his assignment was he had to read george orwell's "animal farm" in one week. for each chapter he had to write out a 3 x 5 card synopsis. he wasn't thrilled but thought it was an easy assignment. at the end of the week i reviewed his cards to make sure that they were'nt 'fluff'. then, he had to write out a 1000 word essay, with proper grammar and punctuation on not only the topic of the book but his perception of its message. he was not happy as that was the kind of assignment that he was not turning in for classes. he actually did quite well. later, when he took his college entrance exams he aced the english and told me it was all because of the torture i put him through.
the second fav was this: to me, taking things away from a child doesn't really do much of anything because 'out of sight, out of mind'. they simply stop thinking of it after awhile. so, if he was banned from his gaming he could keep the console; i took the controllers/joysticks. if banned from tv, i took the control knobs and remote. and, if he missed curfew while he was riding his bike with his buddies, he kept the bike. i took the front tire. i did think about taking the rear tire but felt that his having to redo all the gears and chain was a bit much.
Say yes to everything they ask, exept the things that put them in risk or if what they ask is too much.