Kids (4-12)

4 Tricks Every Parent Should Know When Raising Kids


parenting 101

School mornings are a bit rough for the Clingenpeels. Here are some tips to help your child become a morning person! Though we do our best to plan the night before, it seems that when morning hits, one shoe is always missing its partner, and pouring milk into cereal takes the effort of making a 7-course meal. By the time I drop them off at school, the kids are irritable and it’s not a good start to the day. This is not what I want for my kids, so it’s important to know some ways to improve their attitude and outlook on the day. Here are some parenting 101 tricks every parent should know.

1. Comic relief

This is one of my favorite tricks and I use it frequently when I want to help my kids refocus on something positive. For example, in the drop off line right before my kids hop out to go to school after a rough morning, I provide them sage advice: “Don’t let the trolls eat your ear wax,” or “Don’t let the monkeys cut your hair.” Comedy has a way of brightening any situation and helps to build connectedness with our kids regardless of their age. {Tweet This} I even do this with some of the middle school and high school students I work with; I tell them, “Don’t talk to girls,” or “Don’t look boys in the eyes!” Statements like these break the tension and bring a smile to their face.

2. Diversion

Kids can get fixated on a problem or negative feeling; you can help them by providing diversion with “squirrel” moments. In the car, playing their favorite playlist or song, and ‘mom dancing’ to it. Tell them about or show them a funny story or meme you found, keeping some in your notes to use just for this purpose. Having some on-the-go games, like ‘never would I ever’ kids style (think eating bugs and crazy hair do’s) or ‘I spy’; these games make time by go a lot faster, as well as distracting from any previous stressor.

3. Providing choices

When everything is overwhelming, it is easier to take next steps when there are a limited amount of choices. Providing two options to choose from in any given situation empowers our kids to choose while giving us creative control. From eating options and outfit choices to conversation topics and where to put a good night kiss – the nose or eye brow – it’s a valid question even for your pre-teen.

4. Physical touch

Physical touch is an important part to feeling loved and secure. (Here are some other ways to show love to your kids). As our kids get older and don’t want the same snuggles they did when they were little, it is our job to become a little more creative in the way we provide it. Giving hugs, and sitting next to each other on the couch so your legs or feet touch. Putting your arm around their shoulders to giving fist bumps and high fives. No matter how old your child is, they will always be your baby, so you are entitled to give them big hugs and sloppy kisses.

Just like adults, kids will have rough days and need help making them a little better. Having some tricks up your mama sleeve will not only help your child, but will remind you that no matter your child’s age that you still have your mom magic touch!

What are some tricks you have used?

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