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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 November 19, 2019

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                                    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                                                    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                                                    1. Create a Daily Plan

                                                    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                                                    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                                                    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                                                    3. Use a Calendar

                                                    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                                                    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                                                    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                                                    4. Use an Organizer

                                                    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                                                    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                                                    5. Know Your Deadlines

                                                    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                                                    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                                                    6. Learn to Say “No”

                                                    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                                                    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                                    7. Target to Be Early

                                                    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                                                    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                                                    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                                                    8. Time Box Your Activities

                                                    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                                                    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                                                    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                                                    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                                                    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                                                    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                                                    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                                                    11. Focus

                                                    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                                                    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                                                    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                                    12. Block out Distractions

                                                    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                                                    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                                                    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                                                    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                                                    13. Track Your Time Spent

                                                    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                                                    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                                                    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                                                    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                                                    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                                                    15. Prioritize

                                                    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                                                    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                                    16. Delegate

                                                    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                                                    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                                                    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                                                    For related work, batch them together.

                                                    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                                                    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                                                    2. coaching
                                                    3. workshop development
                                                    4. business development
                                                    5. administrative

                                                    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                                                    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                                                    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                                                    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                                                    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                                                    19. Cut off When You Need To

                                                    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                                                    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                                                    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                                                    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                                                    More Time Management Techniques

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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