This week I’ve been milking Facebook Live and I’ll admit, I loved it. I asked you lot, readers and viewers, to give me your parenting tips. I’ve picked out some I liked and added a few of my own and kept the list to 10. Let’s be honest the list could easily have a million tips but quite frankly I haven’t got time for that and want to do some more Facebook Live videos!
So if you’re a soon to-be, brand new, novice or even professional at parenting, there will be a tip for you in this list. Pro at parenting? I know, this category doesn’t exist!
1 – When dressing a baby, put in an arm first, then head, then second arm. Rather than head first and then having to fight with, dodge and find either arm. Believe me it does seem easier.
2 – Who knew those folds on the shoulders of baby vests are so you can roll the vests downwards and off? Apparently so you don’t risk getting poo in their face. Good tip however, my argument is if they’ve been a little annoying that day a little poo to the face can be used as a valuable lesson for them to learn from can’t it?
3 – Don’t leave important letters/documents knocking around with a 3 year-old and a permanent marker. Seems obvious but even the best of us can get caught out by this…See here (Parenting Tips Continued…)
4 – When your kid questions you, give yourself a moment to think carefully about your response. Kids at a certain age will take what you say literal. During a shower with my son he asked if my willy was mine, I jokingly said ‘No I’ve borrowed Mummy’s’, guess what he repeats now at shower time?
5 – Think about the way you speak. Very good tip, I’m from Yorkshire so despite speaking on occasion very good sense, it still sounds like I’m daft! Without losing my natural accent though I have tried where possible to make adjustments purely so the boy doesn’t take on this burden. He seems to talk more like Justin Fletcher than me anyway!
6 – For the parents with children reaching their teenage years, save money! Definitely the hardest thing to do. It is required though, as they get older you can’t fob them off as much with a colouring book and fake Spiderman toy from the £1 shop. It all turns and turns quickly into Nike trainers, iPhones and laptops. Oh and thinking further forward, keep a bit aside for helping out with mortgage deposits or rent money.
7 – DON’T SHOUT AT YOUR KIDS! Unless they’re in immediate danger, then definitely shout them, don’t whisper ‘Put that knife down please’, that won’t work. When they’ve done something, jumping straight to shouting and balling mode won’t work either. It will in most instances just escalate the situation. Talking and explaining to kids definitely works better. Plus, there’s nothing worse than seeing parents shouting at their kids in public for the smallest thing, then they wonder why their kids do nothing but scream and shout.
8 – Kid’s can’t be naughty. At least not in the first so many years, how can they be, they don’t know anything! It’s worth remembering this as I hear loads of parents saying their child has become soo naughty during what it is probably just a phase they’re going through. Once they understand things better then of course they will test you, but again they’re trying to fathom where the cut-off point is, they’re always learning. Do you ever get the urge to do something even if you know better? Imagine being a kid, having that urge but not having the life experience an adult has to know better.
9 – If they’re old enough to ask, they’re old enough to receive a decent age appropriate answer. I love this tip, we’re told all to often at what stage our child should be at during their education and I’m guilty of this too but how many times have you said ‘It’s not really something kids understand’? For example, just today my 12 year-old asked me about the EU situation, whether we should be in or out and gave me her opinion on it. At first I thought WTF you’re 12, politics is hugely a mind-boggling load a shite for adults never-mind a kid. However, I responded by giving her the little knowledge I have on the subject and my opinions and reasons. I suppose this tip is two-fold, I could have cut this short but instead engaged in a conversation with her and we both learnt something about each other, savor these moments.
10 – Less of this nonsense about wishing kids would run around in woods playing army with twigs. There’s plenty of time for active play but if you balance it right there’s nothing wrong with giving them a tablet to play on or sitting them at a computer to navigate around or letting them indulge in a little cBeebies & chill. Technology isn’t going anywhere, tech isn’t destroying young people, the way they’re introduced and managed into using tech by parents is the key here. Let them take pictures, shoot videos, watch YouTube but let them do-so within your sensible control. Technology is the future, don’t deprive them of the inevitable, give them a head start. While we’re on this theme, photograph and/or video everything, capture your life’s best moments, you’ll be thankful in years to come.
There you go! Easier said than done some of these but all we can do is try. We’re building people here what’s possibly better than that?