I love finding life hacks – simple tricks to make everyday life easier. And as a mom who spends most of my day trying to raise and run a happy, healthy family, simple parenting tips and tricks are essential. Earlier, I shared some of my favorite parenting hacks that help our home run more smoothly. Today I’m sharing more parenting hacks to help you deal with the most common problems we face as moms.
Keeping Kids Busy
- Pots and Pans – Let them play with some of the pots and pans on the kitchen table or counter, along with wooden spoons, spatulas, and whisks as you cook dinner. They’ll feel helpful and they won’t be in your way. Cookie sheets make a great replacement for the fridge if they like to play with magnetic letters, shapes, or toys.
- Paint Outside– Instead of painting inside, on nice days let your children paint on an old sheet outside. Use watercolors or tempera paints. Let them go wild and then rinse them off with a hose when it’s over. Or, give them some sidewalk chalk and let them decorate the driveway.
- Paint Inside – Fill a zipper plastic bag with one color of paint and tape it to a window in a spot your child can reach. He or she can now finger paint without making a mess by drawing designs in the paint within the baggie.
- Time It – Set a timer for anything you want your children to do, from waiting a few minutes while you pay bills, to cleaning their room, to eating. Tell them the timer is set, and for how long, and that when the timer goes off they’ll be done with whatever.
- Use Hand Signals – Teach your children easy sign language. Baby sign language is very useful and cuts down on temper fits by letting a non-verbal child communicate easier. The trick though is to always follow up. If you signal a child to be quiet while you’re on the phone, as soon as you get off do something with them for a few minutes and praise them for waiting.
Getting Kids to Eat Healthy
- Let Them Help – Children who help prepare dinner are more likely to eat the dinner as prepared, even if that includes veggies. Little hands can do a lot more than you might think.
- Grow Your Own – Teach children how food grows out of the ground, and they’ll be hooked for life. If they have their own little plot to care for, they’ll eat a lot more veggies.
Keeping Kids Healthy
- Remove Splinters – Make a paste of baking soda by adding enough water to make it the consistency of glue. Spread on the area with the splinter and wait a few minutes for the splinter to rise out of the skin. Then remove splinter with tweezers.
- Giving Medication – For small kids, cut a hole in a binky and slip the dropper through. Kids are used to sucking on a binky so they’ll accept the medicine easier. For older kids, ask the pharmacist to flavor the medication according to your child’s preference.
Children are easier to please if you understand what they want. They want attention, and the more ways you can find to give them attention, while also getting peace for yourself, the better off you’ll both be. Always set the example of behavior you want them to follow and make them a priority, and you can’t go wrong. Hopefully these parenting hacks will not only help you get more done, but also hope you forge a stronger relationship with your children.