Parenting Hacks from Mom Bloggers We Love
Three cool ideas to make your day easier
Who doesn’t appreciate a good #lifehack? And what parent wouldn’t appreciate one that will make doing chores, feeding hungry kids or taming toddler tantrums easier?
With that in mind, we combed through a few of our favorite parenting blogs to find helpful and easy-to-use advice that hopefully will make your days go more smoothly.
Jessica Lahey, author of “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed,” wanted to remind her kids how to do laundry. They already knew how, she says, but seemed to have “forgotten” — though they remembered how to complain about having no pants or socks, she notes on her blog. One day, after seeing yet another pair of jeans left in a crumpled heap on the living room floor, she got creative.
“This morning, those jeans were a blinking, beeping, blaring error message alerting me to the flaw in my parenting program. While I have a pretty good vision of what the end result of this parenting job should look like, and I've spewed out plenty of code, I've left out too many instructions. My loops are infinite for lack of clear, executable instructions.”
Instead of writing the instructions on a sheet of paper, she used a dry-erase marker to spell them out right on the washer and dryer — a trick she calls “Laundry 2.0.” We call it brilliant.
“My kids are starving the second they get home from school. They head straight to the kitchen and raid the shelves for snacks. To make it easier for them to help themselves, we keep snacks organized in one place: The Snack Station. Snack Stations make it easy for my kids to grab mom-approved snack foods. I put a Snack Station in the pantry and another Snack Station in the fridge.”
Nicole suggests using a container large enough to hold a variety of snacks but small enough to fit on fridge or pantry shelves. For the pantry snack station, try items like dried fruits, nuts (if your kids aren’t allergic, of course) and healthy granola bars. For the fridge, consider treats like yogurt, low-fat cheese or sliced veggies and fruits.
Related: 3 Healthy School Snack Recipes
Toddler talk hack
Rachel, a mom of six kids, knows a little something about talking to toddlers. On her blog Busy Mommy Media, she tells a wonderful anecdote about how, week after week, she would neatly iron her young son's shirt and instruct him not to wrinkle it before church. Yet week after week, he would do it anyway.
"Finally, one day after another wrestling match with the floor I lost it. “Why won’t you listen when I tell you to do something? I TOLD you not to wrinkle your shirt. Promise me you won’t wrinkle your shirt next time.” My son looked at me, tilted his head a bit and said, “OK.” Then after a pause, “but Mommy, what does wrinkled mean?” We weren’t having an obedience problem. We were having a communication problem.
She goes on to explain you must be crystal clear when telling a toddler what to do.
“You can’t tell a toddler to go clean up. They just aren’t wired like that. Telling a toddler to go clean up is just asking for a tantrum. Instead, tell your toddler exactly what you’d like him to do. Say, “I need you to put your toy cars in the box and put the box on the shelf.”
You can read the
rest of her advice here.
Have a parenting hack to share? Submit it in the comments section.