Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One Word

One of my favorite parenting books is called, “How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. One of my favorite, simple pieces of advice from that book has to do with nagging- we all do it. Some days I feel like a looped recording: “Pick up your shoes. Put your backpack away. Go wash your hands. Pick up your shoes. Set the table. PICK UP YOUR SHOES!” It can be just as annoying and exhausting for kids to hear it as it is for us to say it.

Faber and Mazlish suggest that after asking our child to do something once, rather than repeat ourselves until the task gets done, we can control our emotions and prevent our irritation from passing on to our children by simply using one word: “Mikey, shoes.” "Ella, backpack." "Candice, hands." "Kevin, table.”

Kids don’t usually need a lecture as much as they just need a reminder, and if you’re harried enough as it is, you don’t have time to give lectures. One word has the same impact, so keep the peace and keep it simple with just one word.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Roll It Clean!

Cleaning can be just as overwhelming for kids as it is for adults- even more so! Which is why I am always trying to think up ways to make it more fun and less painful. 

Today our game is called Roll It Clean! This is a great game to play with young children, as it is simple, gets them involved and helps them with their counting skills. Here’s what you need:

1. A messy room (the messier the better!)
2. A die with numbers 1-6 (we used an oversized foam die like the ones pictured above, but any die or game spinner with numbers will do)
3. Small candy, like Skittles, M&Ms, marshmallows, etc.
4. Paper & pencil


Take your paper and make columns for each player- this is where you’ll keep score. 

To Play:

The first player rolls the die. The player must pick up and put away the same number of things as the number they roll- ex: roll a 5, put away 5 things. IF they roll a 1, however, they get a piece of candy and do not need to put anything away.

After the player puts away the number of things (or eats their candy) add the number to their score (hint- this is a great opportunity to practice tally marks with younger kids or basic addition with older kids). 

Keep playing until the room is clean (with breaks, if necessary). Whoever has the highest score in the end WINS! You may want to offer a prize such as a whole bag of the candy, or something else, such as their choice of movie, or an extra book from the library. It makes the game more interesting because the kids want a piece of candy- but they also want to roll a higher number to get a better score. And the best part? Everyone wins because the room gets CLEAN!

I have been playing this with my just-turned-4-year-old this morning and she is doing AWESOME, which is a big deal because it’s usually like a tooth extraction trying to get her to clean anything. We’re about halfway through her and her sisters’ messy, messy room and she can’t wait to keep rolling and cleaning!