Parenting is the hardest, yet most rewarding job ever!
And it doesn’t need to break you…or your bank account. 😉
Granted the tips I’m about to share with you work best before the school years.
When school starts other parents will ruin it by all the activities they enrol their children in – and believe me – you will hear about it all – that kind of news travels fast!
“… but mom, Susie’s family goes to Mexico every year…or but mom Johnny has a wii…or but mom Petey has an ipad or iphone… or but mom…well you get the drift…
Really? Well if Susie, Johnny or Petey jumped off a bridge, would you jump off the bridge too?
Anyway, I digress…
You can manage your child’s expectations by:
1. Keeping them ignorant of all the cool and popular stuff out there for as long as possible;
2. Building up bubbling excitement for any old lame thing you’re about to expose them to;
3. And making them feel like they’ve just won the lottery when you finally allow them to do said lame thing.
Here are just a few ideas:
The butter knife.
A great activity on a wintery but sunny day. Pull out the butter knife and cast spots of lights on the walls by catching the sun’s rays on the knife and reflecting them on the walls. If you have a cat – bonus! – you’ll have hours of enjoyment making your cat crazy as it tries to catch the lights.
Button and String.
Cut a piece of thread 18 to 24 inches long. Thread it through one hole in a button and out another hole. Tie the ends of the thread together. You now have a loop of thread with a button in the middle. Hold each end of the loop in each hand loosely so that the button is hanging down…you know…like a necklace.
Move your wrists in a circular motion, twirl the button round and round until the thread is sufficiently twisted. Now the fun begins. Pull the string in and out and listen to the buzzing noise as the button spins wildly!
My kid would have done anything to go to Shopper’s. I just had to play it up a bit.
I would tell her that I wasn’t sure she could handle the excitement, that I wasn’t sure she was old enough to appreciate the experience thoroughly.
“Mommy puhleeeaasseee…I can do it, I swear! I’m a big girl now…you even said…”
I’d hum and haw and finally give in, but not before setting the ground rules.
You can’t ask for anything.
You can’t act out or throw a temper tantrum, because if you do, I will NEVER, EVER bring you again, understood?
To this she would solemnly nod agreement and would present her most sincere and grown-up facial expression.
Once I had all the body wash, eye make up remover, etc., I needed we would head home. Later, I would smile to myself as she related her pharmacy adventure to Oma or Uncle Mike on the phone.
Cardboard boxes, macaroni necklaces, writing and illustrating her own books were all activities she enjoyed immensely.
Because she didn’t know any better.
Even mommy needs a break sometimes
Sometimes I got tired and needed a little time to myself.
At times like this I would say,
OK let’s play movie stars! Pretend that we are actors in a movie about a mom and a little girl. In this movie the mom is reading a book. But that’s not the important part of the movie. The little girl who is the STAR of the movie is in her room. She is a very smart and pretty girl and figures out a million things she can do to occupy herself for an hour.
You laugh- but t worked!
And she was always so good about going to bed without arguing – after all the next Shopper’s Drugmart trip hung in the balance.
How about you?
Do you have any parenting tips?
Please share them below in the comment section.