Monday, July 4, 2011

The things that matter

Today I logged on to read another blog (that shall remain nameless). It's a parenting blog and, as a parent, I like to see other people's views about parenting and what lessons they have learnt along the way.

I have already blogged about my distaste for parenting blogs which constantly trot out the question 'which is better: staying at home or working?'. After despairing about this on Facebook, it was suggested I write a parenting blog instead.

So for your reading pleasure, here is the tips I have gathered along the way. I am NOT an expert, so please keep that in mind before using me as a defense in a court of law.

1. You are going to get poo on you at some stage. Chances are that you will notice, but get into the habit of completing a body check (similar to a mole map) before you leave the house. People tend to respond with loud shrieking and potential fainting if they notice poo on you.

2. 'Because I said so' is an entirely acceptable response. Explaining for an hour why your child cannot have the screwdriver to 'play with' (which is code for terrorise the cat with) is a waste of time. Explain what you can, but don't feel like everything is a negotiation.

3. Time out is not just for children. Have a screaming pillow which you can scream into or bash at the wall (away from your children). Your kids are gonna make you angry. They are creative little beings who can see the potential of mixing milo and juice on the carpet before you do. Get a screaming pillow.

4. Don't dress your whole family in the same outfits. It makes you look weird and people will laugh at you. No matter what American TV has taught us, it is not acceptable behaviour.

5. Your children will repeat what you say. So when describing how much pain you are in after tripping over their toys AGAIN, use words that will make your kids sound like geniuses instead of potty mouthed sailors. My favourite? Aorta.

6. Kids are fascinated by the Discovery Channel. I don't really have anything to add here but I was kinda surprised by that.

7. Big birthday parties are a waste of time. Have little birthday parties with simple things so that you won't have to deal with the craziness of MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen in later years.

8. Don't read studies. They are usually out to fit a certain agenda. If you don't know something, ask a grown up you can trust who has kids. Or ask a bunch of grown ups with kids and get a general idea.

9. When you have kids, apologize to your friends who had kids before you for judging them. It always seems way easier until it's you who has been up all night with screaming kids, then at home all day with screaming kids and is feeding your kids WHATEVER THE HELL THEY'LL EAT for dinner so you can get them into bed and you can finally sleep.

10. Find a kindy you trust. There will come a time when they see you at less than your best and you will need their support. Also when your child refuses to wear anything else other than his new PJ's, it will make it a lot easier if you can all laugh about it.

11. Have food in your house you can eat with minimal preparation and is relatively good for you. There will be days you just need to reach into the cupboard and eat things directly from boxes. If all you have is cookies, this may result in your children mistaking you for Cookie Monster (especially if you eat like I do!)

12. Have one friend you can complain at. Someone you can ring and say 'I need to talk at someone'. Once the feeling has past, thank them so they don't think all you do is complain. Alternatively write a blog where you complain *AHEM*

13. Some parenting groups will suck. They will be full of parents who think their child is better than everyone else's. Their child isn't. In fact, their child is probably embarrassed by their parents. Find a group where the parents are clutching their coffees and running after their kids. These tend to be the more helpful groups.

14. No one wants to see your birth video. Actually, don't have a birth video. It's just weird and a little creepy.

15. When you have had a hard day, watch your children sleep for a bit. It will remind you that they do eventually sleep.

Right your turn! What is your most valuable parenting tip?

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