10 Parenting Tips I Didn’t Read in a Book

  1. When there is a holiday, Michael and I let our kids eat all of the candy they want on that day.  Then, that night, I sort the candy.  The chocolate goes in my closet (for obvious reasons), the rest goes in the trash.  They’ve never thrown up.  So far, so good.
  2. If our kids leave Legos in the floor, they get sucked up the vacuum cleaner.  Legos hurt.  I don’t take chances.  This works much like Pavlov’s dogs.  Vacuum cleaner turns on = kids start cleaning.
  3. Toy Story 3 makes it emotionally unbearable to get rid of toys.  Don’t watch it. Ever.
  4. In the summer we occasionally bathe the children with a water hose in our front yard.  That’s not so much a tip as a warning – better to call before you drop by.
  5. It’s never ok to make your children feel shame.  It is ok to let them feel guilt.    Shame is associated with who they are.  Guilt is associated with what they do.
  6. 5-year olds can unload the dishwasher all by themselves.  Let them.
  7. After you reach age 30 and/or have 3 children, your body doesn’t work properly.  Activities that involve spinning in circles, rolling in any fashion, or jumping up and down should be avoided at all costs.
  8. ‘Sticker chart reward systems’ are a fancy phrase for bribery.  And they work.
  9. If your child has been sitting in time out, and you forget that you put them there and why, it’s best to start the conversation with:
  • “Do you know why you’re in time out?
  • “yes”
  • “Ok, tell me why”
  • “I hit my brother”
  • “yes, that’s right (your memory returns here), and we don’t hit our brothers do we?”  See tip #5.

10. Car DVD players have singlehandedly made family road trips possible to endure without medication.

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2 responses to “10 Parenting Tips I Didn’t Read in a Book

  1. I, too, have have told my kids that the random small toys on the floor are “vacuum cleaner food.” We still have what I call “crap laps” in our house still even though the youngest is 15. Clean as much crap (stuff) up as you can in 15 minutes.

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