discovery toys blog of billie elias
Tips for parents who play with their children or who want stay-at-home income.
Toys for special need, autism, gifted and typical kids.

August 21, 2008

Parenting Tips from Real Parents

1. Kids respond more quickly and positively to a command that reinforces correct behavior than to a reprimand that focuses on an undesirable behavior. Instead of "don't run!" try "please walk." “Look please” instead of “don’t touch”. It takes some practice, but you will notice a change in your children's behavior, and you will feel like you are nagging less! Linda

2. Take time each day for yourself. It doesn't matter WHAT you do, as long as your children see you doing something to better yourself each day. Linda

3. The "interrupt rule". When on the phone the children know that they may interrupt us by putting their hand on our arm and then wait QUIETLY. We can then find a pause in our other conversation and say '"Excuse me, yes, what is it?" Trisha

4. Store toys on shelves instead of in a “bottomless” toy box. In addition, games, noisy toys, and art supplies should be kept high so they are only taken out with parental permission or supervision. Tina

5. When you find a stray piece of a puzzle/game save it in a special box just for unidentified pieces. Never throw unclaimed pieces away. It is great fun to finally find the match. Tucker

6. WATER! Water is a stress reliever, which gives a soothing sensation for all ages, from a tiny, fussy baby to a pre-teen having a bad day. Fill your kitchen sink with water and bubbles and your child will play happily for ages. Jackie

7. Teach your baby to put herself/himself to sleep sooner rather than later (4-6 mos.). We have a routine that we stick to religiously and that way my husband and I can count on some time alone every night BEFORE we collapse. Beth

8. Children require TIME - yours. TIME + LOVE. Lucinda

9. To help manage the "I want" stage create a treasure box. Whenever your child sees something he has to have, cut it out of the catalog or draw a picture of it and put it in the treasure box. On birthdays, holidays and other "treat" times during the year let the child make a selection from the treasure box for us to purchase. It is amazing how many things lost their appeal over time in the box. They will value the things they do receive much more. Jill


11. Take time to LISTEN! All the "just a minutes" add up in their life and it becomes an hour! Kathy

12. A smile & a kiss can make all the difference! Missy

13. Listen in equal amounts of time that you speak. Judy

14. Sing, sing, sing...if you're happy your kids will know it, if you're frustrated singing a made-up song in a loud voice is much more effective than yelling. Dorrie

15. When doing laundry, rather than put all the clothes away, sort them into slots for Monday through Saturday. Top, bottom, underpants, socks... everything's there. Kathleen

16. When your children forget their shoes/lunch don’t bring them to them. They will surely remember the experience and learn the value of taking responsibility for their actions. Beth

17. Let the children know the expectations so they are prepared for the situation. When going into a store or library have the child repeat the rules back. Anonymous

18. As a mom of 5, the best thing I ever did was help my children understand how to help another child, maybe one who couldn't hit the ball or run as fast as the others. In the real world, it is your sincerity and kindness that makes a person special. Kathy

19. Count backward with your child as regularly as you count forward. 1-2-3 is forward sequencing = addition. 3-2-1 is backward sequencing = subtraction. Keeping the gears greased both directions is imperative for the math brain wheels to spin freely. Nancy

20. When your child begins to make letters and numbers, make sure the strokes are drawn from the top down, not the bottom up. Nancy

21. The best advice I ever received as a parent was " Never say never!” Chris

22. Always remember what it feels like to be a child! Trust your gut feelings! Even when a supposed "Professional" is telling you something different about your child.

23. Be a good role model - take time to nurture yourself both physically and mentally.

24. Always assume that your child is doing their job to the best of their ability (i.e. to push to find the limits) and do yours to the best of your ability (Set those limits!).

25. Love unconditionally! A child will only be trustworthy if you trust them.

26. Just being there is the best thing that you can give a child. I always say, "How can you be in your children’s memories tomorrow if, you are not in their life today." Michelle

27. As a parent, you need to be a broken tedious as it may sound, children need to hear what you expect of them over and over and over again. Georgeanne

28. Make a point to have lots of FUN together: Telling jokes, pillow fights, re-writing songs with crazy words, always looking for (or creating) the absurd in the day. Cheri

29. Carry a plastic trash bag in your diaper bag, for times when the changing situation isn't great … you just change baby, then toss out the diaper, wipes and the trash bag.

30. Your child will be a little "you" person...if you don't like what you see in your child, take a look at YOU first ... if their manners are lacking, how are yours? If they have a bad attitude, check yours!

31. What goes in their ears will sooner or later roll off their lips! Don't EVER complain about your mother-in-law when the kids are within 3 blocks of where you are!

32. Get down on THEIR level and have a real conversation - be interested in THEIR day...and when they are telling you things, good or bad – LISTEN.

33. Just have fun … if you are truly having fun as a parent and relishing in the awesome-ness of children, then your attitude will show through...happy, positive and supportive!

34. Even during the frustrating times there are two things to remember - first, it won't last long and second, there is always someone who would be very, very happy to have that problem to deal with!

35. Play, play, play...if dinner doesn't get made, order a pizza ... if the house isn't clean, don't sweat it! Someday the children will be gone and you will have ALL the time in the world for, play, play now!

36. The most important thing to remember - be very, very nice to your children … someday they may be feeding and diapering YOU!

37. Say what you mean, mean what you say. When disciplining, give logical consequences and follow through. And when making promises, follow through, also.

38. Hug them every chance you get and tell them how much you love them and what makes them special. Arlene

39. Never allow "name calling". When we stop the name calling it help reduces the over all battles that children will get into. I explained to my children that when you name call then you lose respect for others and you lose respect for yourself. Cynthia

40. Tell your children when they do things right and praise them. We often only tell them only when they do things wrong. Mallory

with thanks to Tucker Smith

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