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Effective & Unique Parenting Tips

Updated on August 17, 2015
Ah, school work - it's not getting done like this!
Ah, school work - it's not getting done like this!

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!

Pants Method

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

Lycra Method

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.

Singing Method

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.

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?

Time flies - have fun with your kids. That is what they will remember.
Time flies - have fun with your kids. That is what they will remember. | Source

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!


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    • delaneyworld profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you wannabewestern! I would like the Unicorn just for fun. You can never have too much glitter. The lipstick sounds great. I think it's important to keep our kids laughing while trying to get them to participate in helping out around the house. Thanks so much!

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      I think the Facebook post would be an effective threat if I could get my kids to friend me on Facebook. Something tells me she is onto me, though!

      Wish I had a glitter-farting Unicorn. That might somehow work its way into the creative parenting scenario too.

      My only advice for getting help with the chores is to write a note in lipstick on the mirror from the "maid." This probably works better for preteens who think it is hilarious and cute. Teens have that "whatever" hormone, though.

      Great reading--I enjoyed every second!

    • delaneyworld profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you Ardie. I'm glad you found my article. You are definitely not alone being an odd mom. I know that my daughter likes it and it keeps it kind of fun for both of us. :) Thank you for reading.

    • Ardie profile image


      9 years ago from Neverland

      I'm thrilled to know I'm not the only "strange" mom!! I use very unconventional parenting to keep my kids in line. Especially good is the 'treasured item down the pants' and the 'stories on Facebook' threat ;) Sometimes I ask my kids of they hate me because Im not all proper like some of the other parents. It turns out they love me all the more because Im strange! Excellent article - Im a follower now!

    • delaneyworld profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you Simone! :) Unconventional is always THE best! Thank you for reading!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      You're a hilarious mother, delaneyworld! Should I ever be in charge of young ones, I think I'll adopt your unconventional methods- they're the best!

    • delaneyworld profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Thank you so much everyone. Kids are certainly a challenge and I think if we parents all stick together, we can get this parenting job done right. ;) Thank you for your comments. Really Lycra can work for anyone - but it is not any fun if stomach acids or bile is involved. You could always pair it with a big t-shirt. Legwarmers do the trick too. Just use your imagination and our kids will be the most well behaved children on the planet. Just you wait!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey. . . love the tips, quirky as they may be. . .I, on the other hand, used threats of violence and never followed through, so my kids learned to just not listen to me. Keep writing. . . love your articles!

    • KevinC9998 profile image


      9 years ago

      My eighteen year old just started college and it is a whole new set of problems and issues. Never give up! Nice article- voted up, thanks

    • gajanis786 profile image


      9 years ago from Pakistan

      delaneyworld parenting is like a full time profession......but still let us all parents answer honestly how much training and learning do we have for it comparing to any other such profession?......good handy tips......keep it up.Thanks.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sound advice for all parents.I needed some fresh ideas,as i am finding discipline a most displeasurable task as mine have become teens and pre teens.As far as lycra goes,i just don't feel comfortable wearing that in public.The screams and vomiting are too much to tolerate.You in lycra however does not paint an unpleasant picture for me....father though i am,i'm still a man.

    • Max Clayne profile image

      Max Clayne 

      9 years ago

      good advice for parents !

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 

      9 years ago from North Dakota

      My youngest turned 12 today, and she's a good kid, but I think I have hear "in a minute" recently... now I have some good ideas for how to change that to "I'll do it right this second!"


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