Over the past few years, I’ve picked up/learned some surprising parenting tips from friends, colegs and those I’ve learned from my own experiance that have been really helpful, so I’d love to share them below (and hear yours!)…

1. If you want child’s attention at the dinner table, or anywhere else, start a sentence with “Did I ever tell you the story about…”

2. To prevent leaving-the-house-shoes-battles with young children, instead of saying “Put on your shoes” say “Put out your feet” and then put the shoes on.

3. Create a once-a-week ”Sweet Day” or “Treat Day.” Instead of always having to say “No, you can’t have a chocolate,” you get to say “We have chocolates on Wednesday,” and then it’s special that day. My daughter still doesn’t get all concept but soon she will 😉

4. Need 20 minutes to yourself? Put your child on a stool in front of the sink, hand him/her some plastic cups and turn on the water.

5. If your child HATES getting his hair rinsed in the bathtub, let him hold his own washcloth that she/he can use to wipe her/his eyes.

6. Always say goodbye to your child when you leave, even if it means some tears.

7. Toddlers are always thirsty and always need to pee. Even if they say they are not, when faced with a glass of water or a potty, they’ll do it.

8. If my toddler gets fussy when we are walking, I change up the pace by trying different walks: Marching, waddling like a penguin, hopping like a frog, etc.

9. Being there is a huge part of parenting. Not just being physically present, but mindfully and emotionally present, too. When you come home from work, if at all possible, leave your phone in your bag and just be present for your child for the first chunk of time (10 minutes? an hour? it’s up to you). Even if you’re stressed from your day and cranky about something, it’s so important to put it aside for some quality time with your kids, before you launch into dinner or bedtime or whatever homework you need to do.

10. If you think your child may have a temperature, kiss their forehead (instead of using your hand). You’ll immediately be able to tell if they’re hot or not.

11. Give your child a whole, peeled, hard-boiled egg. It’s a fun sensation to hold an egg, and my daughter likes to break it apart slowly and usually he eats the entire thing. When I cut up the egg instead, she eats some but then gets bored.

12. Children can be really good at helping with house chores, and they LOVE it. Give them little jobs: taking clothes out of the drier, pairing up socks, dusting, emptying shopping. If you don’t have an actual job for them, make up one that feels really important. Like, “I need to to take all these vegetable out of this bag and put them in this bowl.” This will buy you time while you’re actually making dinner or folding the laundry.

13. The best money ever spent was on this Melissa & Doug Cleaning Set!

14. Remember that your behaviour serves as a model for your children’s behaviour.

15. Be consistent and patient (as much as you can) that is the key to your child’s behaviour.

What tips and tricks have you figured out along the way? Word-of-mouth advice from parents can be better than all the parenting books in the world.

Please share below!

L xoxo