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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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                                                    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

                                                    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

                                                    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

                                                    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

                                                    Primal Therapy

                                                    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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                                                    How it Started

                                                    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

                                                    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

                                                    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

                                                    Delving deeper

                                                    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

                                                    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

                                                    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

                                                    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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                                                    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
                                                    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
                                                    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
                                                    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

                                                    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

                                                    Scream Sing

                                                    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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                                                    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
                                                    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
                                                    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
                                                    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
                                                    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
                                                    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
                                                    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

                                                    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

                                                    Scream into a pillow

                                                    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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                                                    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

                                                    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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