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25 Parenting Hacks for Everyone

Parenting is hard work and children are not born with owner’s manuals. So, how are we supposed to figure it all out? We could turn to one of the many books about parenting, but they can be confusing and contradict each other so much that it is often hard to know what to believe.

That’s why I have made a list of 25 of my favorite parenting hacks. Some of these are from the internet, some from friends and others are ones that I have discovered. I hope they help and inspire you.

parenting hacks

Parenting Hacks: Babies

  1. Do you need to be outside for some reason? Why not take out your Pack N’ Play for your baby. Just cover it with a crib sheet for instant shade and protection from pests that might be flying or crawling around.
  2. By placing a large command hook on the back of your high chair, you have a great place to store clean bibs ready to use.
  3. It can be scary to think of your little one going in the bathtub. When babies outgrow those neat infant tubs, there really isn’t an alternative. You could go out and buy a fancy seat or that inflatable duckie tub that fits inside the bathtub (I did that for my oldest), or you could use something you already have around the house. A laundry basket. This way, you contain your baby and the bath toys won’t float away.
  4. Dog collars from the dollar store are great for baby proofing cabinet doors. They hook around the handles and are easier to open than the ones that go on the inside. You can also you those toy rings that hook together. They slip right onto the knobs of the cabinet doors.
  5. My go-to teething trick for my kiddos was frozen strawberries inside a netted pacifier. If you could probably achieve the same results with cheesecloth and a rubber band. This method does tend to get messy, though, so keep that in mind.

 

Parenting Hacks: Toddlers

  1. You can use a pool noodle to keep doors from closing all the way. Just cut a pool noodle in 12″ to 18″ sections and slice it open. Slide it on the door at the top (you don’t want your toddler to remove it themselves).
  2. Q-tips are a great way to clean those hard to reach areas of a sippy cup lid.
  3. Childproof your toilet paper rolls with a hair tie or rubber band to prevent your kids from TPing your whole house (yes, this is a thing).
  4. Entertain your kids now by helping them make a Cheerios necklace and distract them later by letting them eat & play with it.
  5. Attach a cupcake or muffin liner to the bottom of a popsicle to help contain the drips. This also helps prevent sticky hands and clothing.

 

Parenting Hacks: Kids

  1. Use an egg carton as the palette for your kid’s paints. Brushes fit perfectly in the flap, as well.
  2. Bring along washable crayons the next time you visit the doctor’s office. Your child can keep busy by coloring on the paper sheet.
  3. Write your child’s name on the bottom of their shoes with a glue gun. The dried glue also helps make the bottom of the shoe grip better. This is a great idea for slippery dress shoes that have a tendency to come off at church.
  4. Duct tape the bottle of bubbles to a pole or rod in the yard or on the deck to keep them from spilling.
  5. Easily shape snow into building blocks with a rectangular-shaped Tupperware container.

 

Parenting Hacks: Teens

  1. Make sure you are not talking “at” your teenagers all of the time. Take the time to talk with your teenager. Listening to them is a big part of this.
  2. Take an interest in their interests. Even if it drives you mad or bores you to death, it is important to your teen. They will see the effort you are making and will know that you do love and value them. To be clear, you don’t have to dive in head first and make this your new hobby, but knowing the differences between the Avengers movies and the comic books has gone a long way with my son and really got us talking.
  3. When it comes time to have the “talk” with your kids — yes, please do this before they are teenagers– I cannot recommend the CD series “Preparing for Adolescence” by Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) enough. There are 8 CDs that cover topics such as drugs, alcohol, sexual development and much more.
  4. Try to find something, anything (that is not destructive, of course) that your teenager is interested in that keeps them active. It is good for them to get away from sitting in front of a screen, at least for a little while each day or week. My son loves Taekwondo.

Parenting Hacks: Discipline

  1. I got this great hack from a friend on Facebook. You take clothespins and write your children’s names on them. You then stick them on the visor of the car and let them know that when they misbehave while in the car their clothespin will come down. Everyone with a clothespin on the visor once you reach your destination or your next stop (if you are on a long road trip) gets a treat or reward of some kind.
  2. Kids love knowing that they have some power or control over their lives. That’s why it is important to let them make some decisions. I’m not talking about big decisions that could change their lives, but little things throughout the day. Pick out a few t-shirts that you are ok with your son wearing and let him pick which one he wants to put on. Or, pick out an apple and a banana and let your daughter pick which of the pieces of fruit she would like with her lunch. You have control over what they choose from, but they feel empowered by making the final choice.
  3. Make sure that you are only trying to control those things that are truly in your control. For example, you CAN control your emotions, but you CANNOT control your child’s emotions.
  4. Let your child help be part of the solution or help pick the consequence. I know this sounds crazy, but every time I have let my children come up with their own consequences, they would pick much harsher ones than I would have handed out.
  5. Always make sure your child knows you love him or her, even when discipline is needed. I tell my kids all the time that if I didn’t love them I wouldn’t bother disciplining them. It’s because I love them that I care what happens to them and how they turn out.
  6. Consistency is KEY!! No matter what form of discipline you end up choosing, be consistent.

 

How did I do?

Are there any hacks that you are excited to try? Do you have any hacks that you want to share? Leave a comment below letting me know.

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