So last week I gave you five very helpful tips on raising kids. You’re welcome. Because they were so well received, I thought I’d share five more. I’d like for you to think of me as a well of knowledge; a waterfall of brilliance. You would think I’ve never had to run out of a pool with my daughter actively crapping in her bathing suit, or leave a restaurant wondering if our friends will ever speak to us again (hello Tuesday!).
Anyhoo, here you go:
1. The “Stay In Bed Fairy”
I think I got this one from someone in Parents Magazine. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Elf on the Shelf, Demon Under the Bed… there are all kinds of fantasy characters out there to get kids to behave. And someone is probably going to email me and tell me how bribing your children isn’t the answer. But we started this one when I had three under 2 1/2 and I was in survival mode. I needed my daughter to stay in bed and I was willing to do anything. ANY-THING *slowly sharpens knife on teeth*
All three of my girls share a room and it was getting out of control in there after we put them to bed each night. One night I hung a purse on the back of the door and told her that if she stayed in bed the fairy would leave her a treat. She did, and she did. At first I bought little treats in the Target dollar bin, then I started pulling stuffed animals out of a dumpster. In truth, they would be happy with fingernail clippings. They just love that a fairy comes into their room. We’ve been doing it for two years and it works like a charm with two of my three girls now in escapable beds.
2. Always have two things in your car: Sunblock and an extra pair of pants.
3. Put a diaper over undies when you’re potty training.
Potty training my eldest was a bi-atch with a capitol I’M GOING TO KILL SOMETHING. Everything I read said to put her in undies because she has no motivation to use a toilet while she’s wearing a diaper. And it totally made sense. What didn’t make sense was me on my hands and knees soaking urine out of the carpet with a 16-month-old and a newborn needing to be fed and noticed and stuff. So one day I had the revelation to put a pull up on OVER the undies to catch all the badness as she was learning. After a year of working on potty training, that finally worked for me. I hope it works for you because potty training sucks.
4. When you’re waiting for the doctor to come in the room, trace letters on your child’s back and let him/her guess the letter. When they’re old enough, you can make words, and then sentences.
5. Steal your neighbor’s babysitters. As fast as possible.
Seriously – babysitters are hot commodities. Casually ask your neighbors who they use. Then cyber stalk them to get their phone numbers and make under the table deals with them to pay them slightly more than your neighbors pay. Screw your neighbors. You need a date night.