Effective & Unique Parenting Tips
I have been parenting for 16 years and can honestly say I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. Anyone who claims to be a parenting expert probably has a lovely unicorn that farts glitter and rainbows to sell you. Either that, or I need you to hook me up with his or her number.
I am a single parent. I did not start out that way. When other people’s private parts got involved in our marriage it sort of ruined the magic. Whether you are a single parent, parenting as a team or parenting as a village; kids remain a hair-raising challenge.
As I have walked, limped and army-crawled my way down this parenting path, I have come across some tips you may find unconventional or even quirky. I can guarantee they may or may not work some of the time to improve your child’s behavior and compliance. It’s worth a shot. Right?
These tips have been tested on my 16 year-old daughter. The goal here is to teach kids responsibility, accountability and to please just DO what we have been asking of them over and over and over again. I know exactly what you are thinking. My baby girl is one lucky kid!
Problem: Your son or daughter is on the computer, cell phone, Kindle, IPad (maybe even all at once) and will not do their homework.
Solution: Immediately threaten to put their prized possessions in your pants. This can include any technology, video games, Pokémon cards or even treasured outfits if your pants are roomy enough. The key to the In Your Pants Method is definitely follow through. The threat alone will only make them laugh. If they do not comply, it's pants time.
“To be in your children's memories tomorrow, You have to be in their lives today.”
- Barbara Johnson
Problem: Your child will not take out the garbage, recycling or finish assigned chores.
Solution: Wear an entirely Lycra outfit when you pick them up at school. This could be an effective tool when you join your child for lunch or volunteer in their classroom. Teachers at the middle and high school levels will welcome your presence regardless of your attire. If you feel as frustrated as I do at times, wearing Lycra will not phase you. It will certainly make a marked impact on your child. This is our goal.
Featured Writing Method
Problem: Did you get a dreaded call from their teacher? Is your child talking in class? Not paying attention? Homework being eaten by the dog, cat, hamster or rat your family does not have?
Solution: Write articles about them to be posted on Facebook. Don't forget to tag your child along with all of their friends! Need article ideas? How about some adorable childhood stories including descriptive photos of Spaghetti O’s up the nose or my personal favorite; the bare baby butt shot. One well-timed article may eliminate those pesky phone calls.
Problem: Is your child not listening to a word you say?
Solution: If your child is nodding their head as you speak, it's because they are jamming to their favorite tune. Trust your instincts. Sing everything you say to them. Your cue to implement the Singing Method is when you hear the words, “In a minute” in response to your request.
Let me clarify. A child's "minute" is equivalent to our "NEVER." Dive right in with this one. Your song should not rhyme, nor should it be entertaining in any way. Ensure your child understands what is happening. This is crucial. Without this clarification, you will get a kid rocking back and forth with his or her hands thrown over their ears. We want results people, not crazy.
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” - Henry Cloud
Rolling Backpack Method
Problem: Did you find some unfinished assignments in their backpack? Maybe a not so stellar report card hidden among the debris in their room?
Solution: Replace their backpack with a large, dirty rolling suitcase. The Suitcase Method will only work with children 10 years of age and older. Younger kids will consider this method nothing but AWESOME.
Understand that only a bona fide suitcase will work for maximum effect. Every time they hear the ZZZIIIIIIPPP as they access their school supplies it will remind them of what steps they need to take in order to avoid this situation in the future.
Example - Must Add Own Dirt
All Creativity Welcome!
These five examples are not exhaustive. I do hope they help you to think "out of the box" in order to get your children's attention. Remember, be CREATIVE! You have what it takes to add to this list!
The keys to these Methods are consistency and follow-through. Simple threats are ineffective and result in your child not taking you seriously. Once you’ve gone there, it’s hard to recover. These methods should be used sparingly to “keep it fresh” for your kids.
I am confident that if you follow the steps I have provided above, you will find yourself in the presence of a more helpful and compassionate child. Regardless of the end result, you will have fun.
You might even create fond memories for later in life when you sit and talk with your grown children about the challenges they are facing with their children.
Who says parenting and discipline can’t be fun?
Show and Tell!
Please share any tips that may have worked for you, a friend, neighbor or the lady in front of you in line at the grocery store in the comments!