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Stuff That Works

A few days ago, I wrote this post on our Facebook Page:

Here’s an “It works for me!” tip I’m going to pass along.  Feel free to use it or not:  My 3 year old tends to want snacks all the time.  Seriously all the time.  Sometimes he’s really hungry and other times he isn’t and just wants to ask for something.  If I don’t think he’s really hungry, I’ll say “If you’re really hungry, you can have a banana.”  It totally works for us because if he just wants candy or wants something to do, he won’t take the banana and if he is hungry, he just got a very satisfying and healthy snack.

It made me think about all the advice I’ve gotten over the years via books, magazines, friends, relatives, the Internet, and TV.  There are some great ideas out there but there are some real jokes, too.  Not to say that they won’t work for you, but there are plenty that didn’t work for me.

I would LOVE to hear some of the things that have worked for you.   To get this discussion started, here are a few more of mine…

Buying a CLEAR shower curtain to use in your kids’ bathroom.  My boys have a bathroom that is used by them and guests, and I put up a clear shower curtain liner on one rod and a fabric shower curtain on another curtain rod.  When they take their baths together, I pull the fabric curtain to one side and the clear liner across the tub.  They can take long, splashy baths together and have an absolute blast.  They have cups and toys and do all kinds of crazy stuff throwing water all over the place while I sit on the closed toilet lid and read or play on my phone.  They have fun and my floors stay dry.

Going for a long drive to get your kids to sleep.  Believe it or not, this is a great solution not just for babies.  For me, there was a time and age when this wouldn’t work — we would go for a drive, they’d fall asleep, and immediately wake up as soon as we got home.  When they’re tiny and still transported in their infant carriers, it usually works pretty well.  But the next time you’re going through a phase with your toddler or preschooler where they are refusing naps and being a stinker about bedtime, try this…Give them a bath, put them in their jammies, and go for a long drive.

We did this last night.  Miles hadn’t napped, and I’m attempting to get the boys to both sleep in their beds again after Spencer’s transition to his toddler bed.  We had somewhere to go in town and then took the long way home…and I mean a really long way home.  It was dark out and I put on the Muse album by Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star and meandered home.  I’m sure if they were a little older and more self-aware, they would have been awfully suspicious of my detour, but it wasn’t long before I heard snoring from the backseat.  I was able to successfully move Miles from the car to his bed with no issues and Spencer joined me on the couch to nurse (yep, still going!) and fell asleep FAST.  They were both in their beds, sleeping blissfully for the first time in probably two months.  I don’t plan on taking a long drive every night, but for the moment?  I was celebrating having them both sleeping in their room by 8:30pm.

Food fixes almost everything.  Cranky kids?  They probably need a snack.  In that horrible limbo between naps and dinnertime?  Let your kids dig into dinner a bit early or plunk them down with some Cheerios.  Once I figured out that most crankies could be solved with food, I experienced fewer meltdowns.  (Not that we don’t experience them at all, but I can usually distract them.)

Preschoolers love timers.  My 3 year old accepts me telling him “You can do ______ later” (whatever it is, playing with my phone, going outside) IF I set a timer.  Any timer will do — the microwave, an egg timer.  Doesn’t matter.  But try it out and see if it works for your kid!

Teach your kids their colors using M&M’s.  Self-explanatory.  And P.S…Kids?  You’re welcome.

Your turn!  What are your favorite pieces of advice?

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About Krista

Krista is a full-time working mom of two boys, currently aged 6 and 7. She lives in Kentucky with her husband, Brandon.