Need some sage advice? You probably won’t want to look to this post then. Need some tongue-in-cheek humorous Pro Tips? Read on as I got your back, fellow parent!
PPT #1: Snacks are the best silencer
Nothing is more annoying that going grocery shopping with your kids and having them beg and plead for every damn thing they see in the aisles. No, child, you may not have whole wheat Kraft Dinner, (we’re KD purists in this household, yo, and it’s Original or bust, obvs.) and no, you may NOT have Fruit by the Foot. (Although I’m amazed that they still make those!) The best way to get them to not ask for ALL THE SNACKS is to give them a snack to eat while you shop. They’ll be too busy stuffing their faces that they won’t have time between bites to ask you to buy food.
PPT #2: Let them learn from their mistakes
I’m not saying to let them ride their bikes without a helmet to prove what head injuries feel like. I repeat, I am NOT saying that! But say it’s -30° outside and they REFUSE to wear their mittens. Nothing makes a kid more obsessed with mittens than experiencing freezing cold hands. Not too long ago it was super windy and cold and my youngest refused to keep her mittens on for longer than 30 seconds. Not too long after (I’m talking maybe 10-15 minutes, tops) she was sobbing because her hands were cold. I shoved her mittens back on and wrapped them in a blanket to warm them up, and ever since then she’s been OBSESSED with wearing her mittens outside. Success!
PPT #3: Travel at night
I’ve personally have never travelled for longer than 4 hours in a vehicle with my kids, but I’ve heard numerous times from several different families that when covering long distances, travelling at night is the way to do it. It totally makes sense too; it’s their natural “sleep” time, so if they don’t do so great sitting still for long periods of time, hate the carseat, get car sick, etc., why not drive at night when they’re most likely to sleep? Take shifts if you’re driving with someone else, and you should *hopefully* be able to get to where you’re going without having to hear “Are we there yet?” 50,000 times.
PPT #4: Be a veggie ninja
I’m lucky enough to have two kids who will eat pretty much any vegetable I put in front of them, however, there are some foods that I have to be a little more creative with. And by creative I mean deceitful. Cauliflower rice? Nah kid, that’s just “fancy” rice! Those onion bits in your homemade macaroni & cheese? That’s just a special noodle! Those greyish bits in your meatloaf? Those aren’t mushrooms, it’s just the way the ground beef looks. Get what I’m saying?
PPT #5: Mute the madness
Ever notice how children’s toys are the NOISIEST? I find that the cheaper the toy, the more annoying and loud it is, regardless of the volume control. (I swear, “Low” is actually 230dB.) The trick to making those toys quieter while still allowing your kids to properly play with them? Packing tape. If you can take the toy apart without wrecking it, stick a piece of clear packing tape over the speaker holes, and then put it back together. You kid will still be able to hear Mr. Robot to fire up the missiles, but you won’t want to stick those missiles up Mr. Robot’s output hole after he says it for the thousandth time. You can also stick the tape on the outside if you can’t safely open the toy up, but mine have always eventually peeled the tape off. (I now keep packing tape in stock at all times.)
So there you go. You’re basically a pro at parenting now too.