Parenting Advice


  1. NOT TOYS?:  Your child’s attention span is as small gnat so, please, take toys and /or activities for them wherever you go (especially in restaurants).  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I see parents trying to calm a bored, fidgety, and fussy baby or child while waiting for their food to come.  You will not have to if you just bring them some toys to play with, activities to do (for when your child gets older), and there is always the tablet so they can watch their favorite show or learning video.  Forewarning, I don’t recommend any games because if you have multiple children I can guarantee they’ll fight about it and I’m trying to make things easier for you, not more stressful.  You can even use your phone if you get desperate most children’s apps.  you can download quickly and free. For your baby’s toys, do yourself a big favor and find a toy holder made of Velcro that holds the toy on one end and attaches it to the chair at the other end.  Unless you like getting up and down multiple times to retrieve the toy they constantly drop/throw down on the floor.
  2. SCREAMING AT YOUR CHILD:  Screaming doesn’t work at all and your child will learn to quickly tune you out.  Rather, talk to them in a CALM way and using an even quieter voice if you really need to get their attention.  Sometimes you may have to take a deep breath and count to ten or even twenty (for when things are really crazy) so you can give your body and mind time to calm itself.  Also, it can give you chance to collect your thoughts so you don’t say something you might regret.  I don’t promise that it will work all the time but it definitely can and will work most of the time.
  3. ALLOWING YOUR CHILD TO SCREAM AT YOU:  Hey, if you scream at your child, guess what they are going to do to you?  So DO NOT allow them to ever scream at you!  In a calm, quiet voice, tell them that you will not allow that kind of behavior and that they need to change their tone of voice.  This especially works if YOU are making it a good habit of not screaming at THEM.  You can always share with them that it hurts your feelings and ask them how they would how they’d feel if you yelled at them, they usually stop immediately.  However, sometimes no matter what you do they’re going to throw a tantrum with lots of screaming and crying, whether out of their frustration or anger.  If it happens (and it will happen) you again calmly tell them that they need to make a good choice to stop their behavior.  When they do choose the right behavior, you can reward them; but, if they choose not to, then you’ll need to put them in time-out. This can be done even if you are away from home – you just find a quiet place like the public bathroom or your car. Stay until your child’s behavior changes, even if you’re at the grocery store.  If your cart if full just tell the clerk that you’ll be right back in to get your cart after you handle your child’s situation. It’s not always easy based on where you are at that time, but it’s the best thing to do for your child and for annoyed people who had to hear it.
  4. CHOOSING THEIR OWN CLOTHES:  If you allow your toddler to choose their own clothes too early, I promise, it will lead down a path of many headaches and confrontations that can easily be avoided.  Teaching your child how to dress themselves is an important part of their development and teaches them how to be more self-sufficient.  However, if you allow your two-and-a-half to start picking out their own clothes, there will be unnecessary clashes when you want them to wear something that matches or is more appropriate.  Instead, praise them for any attempts made to dress; but, make sure to firmly let them know that until they are five or so that you will be picking out their clothes.  See, no arguing involved and they’ll have something special to look forward to.  At five years old they’re a lot less likely to have tantrums and they’re much more flexible about you HELPING them change their mind.
  5. NO SPANKING OR HITTING:  We are past the era where a parent can spank or hit their child as a disciplining method and in many states, it’s considered a form of child abuse.  Yet, I still see some parents out there doing just that.  Hitting a child’s hand to reprimand them not only hurts them but it could burst a blood vessel under their skin, leaving bruising depending on how hard they’re hit.  PLEASE, PARENTS, use the Good Choice Disciplining Method or use Time-Out if that doesn’t work.  You’ll be amazed at how many times your child will actually change their bad behavior.  And then, if they don’t improve or make the correct changes then use age proper time-out.  When your baby becomes a toddler make sure to “fit the time to the crime”, especially if it’s a small indiscretion, then you should cut the time in half.  For your baby, make sure to use the “Tut-Tut” or “Uh-Uh” Method then hold them for a few seconds to explain why they shouldn’t do what they’re doing.  You’ll be amazed at how much they truly understand.
  6. HITTING PARENTS:  Not at any time or at any age is a child hitting their parent cute, funny, or acceptable.  You must stop it the very first time it happens.  Gently grasp their hand and hold it while telling them that hitting is not nice and that it hurts you.  If they do so again, then it’s time for a time-out.
  7. STANDING IN SHOPPING CARTS:  This is definitely not an acceptable thing for a parent to allow their child to do and parents don’t seem to realize it or care.  Quite frankly it’s very dangerous and that’s why the carts have safety and warning signs.  It can only take a second of pre-occupation and/or inattentiveness for them to suddenly lean forward, climb, or unbalance themselves in the carts.  This happened to my little girl when she was two, I turned away to look at a close rack and then the next second she was flat on her back on the floor trying to cry.  She had knocked the wind out of herself and she had also busted her lip which bled profusely, it was so traumatic for both of us.  So, PLEASE, don’t allow your child to stand in the carts!  Make sure they sit in the cart at all times whether in the cart itself or in the provided cart seats.  Don’t forget to buckle them up because those little critters love to climb in and out of everything.
  8. NO NEGATIVITY:  Many parents don’t seem to realize how detrimental negative words are to their children no matter at what age.  Words can cut deep when used in anger, frustration, or impatience.  Here are a few comments that I’ve known a parent to say to their child – “What’s wrong with you, are you stupid or something?”, “You’ll never amount to anything if you don’t do good in school or do your homework”, “You’re getting on my last nerve, I’m going to send you to your Dad’s”, “I wish I’d never had you, then I wouldn’t have to be going through all this”, or the all-time worst, “I hate you”.  Horribly sad and almost unbelievable isn’t it, yet these are just a few that I’ve heard in my lifetime.  So parents, PLEASE, go by the old adage – “If you can’t say something nice/positive, then DON’T say anything at all!!”  Children flourish and grow in confidence and self-esteem when encouraged, lifted up, and spoken to in a kind, empathetic, and positive way.
  9. NOT HOLDING HANDS:  This is the second worst pet peeve that I have and one that I see on a day-to-day basis.  It makes me want to scream at the parents “why aren’t you holding your child’s hand?”.  I’ve seen so many parents not holding their child’s hand and quite often their child is lagging way behind.  The parent doesn’t seem to realize that their child is too small and short for people, who are backing out of their parking spaces, to see them.  Or they could fall just when someone is pulling into a parking space and possibly run them over.  I am sure that the parent would be hysterical and the driver traumatized if that were to happen; but, it all could be totally avoided if they just held their child’s hand.  It’s your responsibility to protect them from constant unknown threats until they are old enough to fend for themselves.  Holding hands is such a simple and loving method to use to protect them, so do it PLEASE.
  10. A SECOND IS NOT JUST A SECOND: If you were to tell your child that you will be back in a second, it NEVER just a second.  No one can do anything in a second, a few minutes maybe, but never a second.  All those ridiculous car-jacked parents whose vehicles were left running, unlocked, and with their child still in it, have been known to say “I was just gone for a second” when they know that they were gone far longer.  I say “SHAME ON THEM!!!”.  Nothing is ever that important and there is not enough time that can be made up where you should ever put your child in jeopardy.  You must always bring your child in with you no matter how short on time you are, and no matter if they’re sleeping.  For if they were taken you may never able to see them again.  There is NO EXCUSE FOR LEAVING YOUR CHILD IN YOUR CAR UNATTENDED!!!
  11.  CONSISTENCY: This one is almost inherent to parenting but one that needs to be improved upon with (you guessed it) CONSISTENCY.  Sorry if that wasn’t what you were looking for but that’s the truth.   And the only way to do that is be consistent as much as humanly possible.  Otherwise, what’s the use of telling your child not to do something if you’re just going to let them do it anyway.  This pattern will come back to bite you severely in the butt if you don’t change it.  For example:  if you tell your three-year-old to get off the back of the couch but you don’t back up what you asked when they do it again, you have just stripped away some of your authority.  They’ll be less likely to listen to you next time no matter what they’re doing.  Hence, in the future, you are going to have major issues with any kind of discipline, especially once they hit their teens.  Straighten up your parent backbone, stop using excuses, and be CONSISTENT.  I promise you that by doing so your child is going to know what to expect from you when you tell them what to do or not to do.  And, even though it may not seem like it, it will make your life so much easier in the  future.
  12. BE REASONABLE WITH EXPECTATIONS:  We all want to have the perfect kid who does everything right the first time and who doesn’t give you any trouble. That may happen in one out of million but it’s not very realistic.  That’s why I’m saying to keep your expectations of your child’s development, learning skills, and over all behavior realistic ones. Hope for the best; but, expect the norm. When parents put heavy or unrealistic expectations on their child they’re often setting their child up for failure or disappointment. Your child is an individual and they’re going to do things on their own time and within their own abilities. Often parents live vicariously through their children and burden them undue stress.   If they play sports, just let them enjoy playing without you expecting them to be the next star player. If they don’t want to sit on the lap of strange character, i.e. Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, don’t make them. The truth is, we do it for our own experience, not theirs. If they aren’t able to make straight “A’s”, be proud of the “B & C’s”, just as long as you know and they know that they’re doing their very best. No where on any diploma does it say what their grades were, just that they achieved the requirements to graduate. I’m not saying to not encourage them to be and do their best, just that you aware of what their best truly is.

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