Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three Proven Parenting Hacks



I've been a mom a long time now.  My oldest daughter is almost 25 and with four children and years spent in the classroom as a teacher.  I have come up with my three biggest Parenting Hacks.  What is a Parenting Hack?  It is a technique that truly benefits and simplifies the job of a parent.  And these three truly do just that!

 1.  No Sleepovers: Sleepovers are just a bad idea.  No one ever says, that sleep over was the best thing that ever happened to my kid.  Sleepovers result in tired, cranky kids on the following day, lowered immunity (so they are often followed by illness), and sometimes even bullying, gossip, trashed basements and hurt feelings.  Our house rule has been that if you are invited to a sleepover, you can attend and stay until 11:00 or midnight-and then it is home to bed.  That way your child gets to enjoy the fun part and avoid the rest.  The only exception is sleepovers at Grandma's house-where you know your child will be put to bed.

2.  No Electronics Before Being COMPLETELY READY in the morning:  This rule means teeth are brushed, breakfast has been eaten, homework is packed up, shoes or boots are on or waiting at the door.  Using a reward for training your kids to complete their responsibilities is a time-saving and frustration free way to sta
rt the day.  Post a list of what needs to be completed, and don't cave in for any reason!

3.  Post the House Rules:  We have a framed copy in our mudroom of our family's expectations.  This takes the yelling and nagging out of the parenting equation.  Kids understand rules and if they are there for the world to see, it is easy to simply walk over and point to the sign.  The one condition to the success of this method, is that your children must understand that there will be a consequence when the rules are broken.  But posting the rules is a great starting point.  Have a family meeting and discuss what the rules are, why you have them, and what will happen if they are disregarded.

So there they are.  Three tried and true suggestions for helping you in your role to be a loving and supportive parent, who takes the time to set limits for your children and teach them about self control and discipline.
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