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25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books

25 Secret Parenting Tips You Won’t Find in Conventional Parenting Books

I’m sure the majority of parents will agree that being a mom or dad is one of the most amazing and life-fulfilling roles you’ve ever experienced!

But you know what would make your experience even MORE enjoyable? Having someone share with you a few secret parenting tips to let you know you haven’t failed or gone loony, that you will rarely hear about elsewhere. So I’m going to step up and be that someone for you. You’re welcome.

1. It’s okay to break down and cry sometimes.

cry

    Being a parent is an emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting job! Sometimes it’s going to feel like you’ve got so much pent up inside, you’re about to explode. The solution? Cry it out. It’s not a sign of weakness. Crying allows you to release stress, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself feeling better and more relaxed after a good, healthy cry.

    2. The newest, most expensive baby toys will actually be for YOUR entertainment.

    baby-box

      Your baby isn’t going to care about the $500 Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider with glowing rims & satellite radio, as much as he does the box it came in. Babies looove boxes. Oh, and they just can’t get enough of the paper cups, orphaned socks, and colorful washcloths!

      My kid’s 13. You think he remembers his Super Saiyan, Multi-Spin Rider? Not so much. What he does vividly recall are the times we danced the “Numa Numa” around the family room, and going outside to blow soap bubbles. So invest that extra cash in your child’s future and enjoy your baby getting a kick out of the simpler things!

      3. You’re not a bad parent for NOT enjoying “every moment that they’re little.”

      upset mom

        If you suddenly see little monsters with horns sitting at the breakfast table instead of the sweet angels you so adore, don’t panic! Sometimes, even the cutest, sweetest ones aren’t very pleasant company. Know that EVERY parent has had bad days (Yup, even the ones who appear to never have them!), so don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not like you’re going to take em to the animal shelter and put them up for adoption, right? Right?

        4. Saying “No” won’t traumatize them.

        saying-no

          Teaching them rules and boundaries is necessary for their emotional and mental growth. They may pout and cry (or throw a full-blown tantrum), but don’t give in to your little one’s plea for a slice of chocolate cake right before bedtime. Constantly saying “Yes” however, will encourage them to grow up to be spoiled, entitled adults. Standing by your “Nos” is also a great lesson in respect, as well as respecting other people’s boundaries.

          5. Giving your kids some alone time does not equal abandonment.

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          alone time

            As a matter of fact, this is crucial for the development of independence. Alone time empowers kids to truly enjoy being creative in the moment as well as encourage self-sufficiency. Kids who learn this are able to face time on their own without feeling sadness or panic. For younger children, alone time is when they are able to relax or entertain themselves without help from parents & caregivers who are in the same room.

            6. You don’t have to be perfect in front of your kids.

            Homer-Simpson-wingnuts-doh

              Here’s a perfect opportunity to teach your children by example. Show your kids that mistakes can be used as a stepping stone to something better, by identifying the lessons in the mistake and making improvements for a better outcome next time. It’ll encourage them to problem solve and grow their self confidence!

              7. It’s okay to give yourself a time out.

              tired-mom

                Have your kids read a book, color, or build with blocks while you take a few minutes to meditate, catch a show on TV, or just zone out on the laundry room floor. You’ll feel much better after a quick breather—plus your children will learn that when feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s healthier and more productive to take a break and come back recharged!

                8. Don’t let your child play on your cell phone without first limiting access.

                cellphone

                  Unless you’re comfortable with everyone in your phone book receiving a “jir3pwdn $WEhfw Ssssssss” text message from you, put a limit/lock on your phone before giving it to your child. Otherwise, don’t come cryin when your boss gets a hold of that selfie #fail you never got around to deleting.

                  9. Tell your vegetable hatin’ child NOT to eat his veggies.

                  spinach

                    “Finish all your spaghetti and… wait, I’m not so sure you should be eating the spinach. That green stuff can make you so strong, it’ll give you super energy when you’re playing at the park and swimming at the pool… do you think you’ll be able to handle all that awesomeness?”

                    Answer will almost always be “Yeah!”… and works with almost any food.

                    10. Nap time is when you get stuff done.

                    cleaning

                      Most people will tell you to sleep when your baby is sleeping. Sure, if you want to get NOTHING else done in your life! Fold laundry, meditate, take a shower (remember that?), read a book, get updated with all the drama on Facebook—and yes, sometimes cuddle naps with the kids to recharge your mind, body, and spirit!

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                      11. You will be unable to escape from the power of cute.

                      linda honey

                        You’ll do your best to keep a straight face, but inside, your heart has already melted and is running down your leg. It’s okay to fall under the spell—just don’t forget to take a photo, video, or write about it on social media so you can appreciate their special power forever.

                        12. Your kid who had nothing to say to you all day will suddenly want to tell you a story when you’re on the phone.

                        phone-tips

                          Give your child an activity such as coloring books and puzzles to keep her occupied while you are on the phone. In all honesty, nothing really worked for me for very long, so I scheduled both my personal and business phone times during my child’s naps.

                          If you have a trick that’s worked for you, please share in the comments below!

                          13. You can have fun without the kids and still be a good parent.

                          datenite

                            Balance is important in maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. You are a parent with little people depending on you, but that doesn’t wipe out the fact that you are still… you! So don’t feel guilty! Go out dancing, catch a movie, have dinner with your significant other, or a girls night out!

                            The better you take care of and feel better about yourself, the better you will be able to give to your children.

                            14. You’ll suddenly know the names of all Pokemon characters.

                            pokemon

                              Or any other show, movie, or video game your child will become obsessed with. And you know what? That’s OK because knowledge is power. Granted, it’s power that is useful only in their kiddie world, but your child will think you’re the bomb-diggity—and THAT in itself is pretty powerful.

                              15. At some point you will accidentally hurt your child and you’ll feel like the worst parent to slither across the Earth.

                              sad baby

                                Whether it’s by snapping at them after a stressful day at the office, or tripping over them because they blended in with the floor pillows. It happens to the best of us, so forgive yourself. Apologize, make certain your child understands that it wasn’t intentional, give them a big hug, and do something that you can enjoy together to mend the hurt and lift the mood.

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                                16. Always bring a change of clothes not just for your kid, but also for yourself.

                                spitup

                                  Kids are messy and dirty; they leak goo and other stuff from everywhere. And there is a good chance they will contaminate you too. Always keep at least an extra shirt for yourself in your baby bag—or in a bag kept in the trunk of your car. You’ll thank me for this.

                                  17. You will make noises and faces just to see your baby smile.

                                  giggle

                                    You’ve seen the silly, new-parent portrayals on TV. Well, that’s you. And you’ll do it again and again just to see your little one crackle, smile, and laugh so hard, he farts in his diapers!

                                    18. Your new found interest in baby poop will confuse and frighten you.

                                    diaper change

                                      You’ll be recording the time, amount, smell, color, and the consistency. And don’t be alarmed if you find yourself celebrating a good diaper full of poop at times. Don’t worry, this phase will pass—pun intended.

                                      19. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows—all at once.

                                      moodswings

                                        Parenting can be highly stressful, emotionally overwhelming, and spiritually uplifting—all at the same time. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. Just step back, give yourself a time-out like we talked about earlier, and resume. Ain’t no thang!

                                        If you feel you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

                                        20. No matter how much baby-proofing you do before your angel is able to scoot around the house, she will find the one thing you didn’t baby-proof.

                                        baby_proof

                                          Sure, you might find her feeding your tampons to her dolls and stuffed animals and using your panty liners to cover her boo boo. Just make certain to keep all medication, chemicals, and sharp objects out of your baby’s reach.

                                          21. Sleep deprivation will begin to feel like mental and emotional illness.

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                                          crazycrazy

                                            Earlier I suggested you take advantage of your kids’ naptimes to get things done. If you’re sleep deprived and unable to function, scratch that for now and nap with them. It’s OK to put off doing laundry and leave the dirty dishes for later. What’s the point in having a load of clean clothes when you’re not able to function properly? Don’t assume there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not a good parent. Get some rest and re-energize!

                                            As stated earlier, if you’re unable to deal with the mental or emotional stress, please confide in people you trust or seek professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s really a very courageous and responsible thing to do. The earlier you get help, the better it will be for you and your children.

                                            22. Time alone in your car becomes a mini vacation/therapy.

                                            a young woman driving a car

                                              Just driving out to the supermarket on your own will make you feel like a brand new person! And discussing life’s most important issues—with yourself, while waiting to pick up your child from school in the car lanes—is OK too! You’ll be surprised at all the clarity and great solutions that results from self-therapy!

                                              23. You will compare your baby against all others and know yours is the best.

                                              stage mom

                                                Regardless of what anyone else might say, this is NORMAL, and you will be absolutely RIGHT! Way to go for having the BEST-KID-EVER! #highfive

                                                24. Always give your kids your undivided attention.

                                                listen

                                                  This will help your child build trust as well as self confidence. Let’s try to avoid the answering while eyes are glued to your text message, or half grunts from behind the newspaper. If ever you are unable to give your undivided attention (work, phone call, guests, etc.) let them know by saying something like, “I’d really love to hear about EVERYTHING you have to say, so will you give me a few minutes to finish this up so I can give you all of my attention?”

                                                  My child grew up with this. And now he gives the same respect and consideration to those who ask for his time and attention. It really works—children really do learn what they live. And it’s pretty awesome.

                                                  25. Seal your special bond with a secret handshake, dance, or code word.

                                                  secret dance

                                                    No matter how silly it is, no matter how old they become, this will be something very special just between you and your child! Priceless!

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                                                    Carmen Sakurai

                                                    Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

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                                                    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                                                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                    1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                    2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                    3. Upgrade yourself

                                                    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                    4. Talk to a friend.

                                                    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                    7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                    8. Have a quick nap.

                                                    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                    9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                    10. Find some competition.

                                                    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                    11. Go exercise.

                                                    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                    12. Take a good break.

                                                    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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