Parenting Tips, Hacks, and Wisdom:
There are many parenting styles to choose from, all of which seem to work to some degree. You will figure out what’s best for you based on your own observations and life experiences. When a baby comes into this world, many parents make the mistake of raising the baby as it belongs to them, exclusively. But, the baby/child belongs to the world. He or She belongs to the community, the workforce, and Themselves. My philosophy is to teach independence. Independent children seem to be the most well-adjusted and adaptable into adulthood. It also takes a lot of the pressure off parents.
There are many types of mothers, fathers, and parenting techniques. Ultimately, you will experiment and discover what works for you. Here are a few pointers you may like to try:
- Infant will not stop crying? Consider this checklist. Your baby may be: hungry, gassy/constipated, needing a diaper change, uncomfortable position or temperature.
- Stay organized: It’s frustrating when you have a crying infant and need something like a burp rag or prepared bottle of milk. Keep everything you’ll need close-by and together so you’re not running around trying to find things when you need it RIGHT NOW. Perhaps, try setting out a designated table with everything together on it or stacking plastic bins.
- Purify your home environment to reduce respiratory illness: buy organic crib mattress, vacuum, open the windows, use air purifiers (HEPA filters, Airocide, NASA Clean Air Study recommended house plants), keep electronics out or away, reduce dust-collecting clutter and plastics, reduce allergens and pet hair/dander, activated charcoal MOSO bags/pillows, ionizers (without ozone), maybe even himalayan salt lamps and beeswax candles).
- When changing diaper: Put new open diaper under dirty diaper that is currently being worn, then open dirty diaper and lift legs wiping poop down with front lip of diaper, then use baby wipes, pull out the old diaper and set the baby bottom down into the new diaper underneath. Easy, fast.
- From a very young age, teach them to read, write, and type, of course. This is probably the most important skill. While they are infants, talk to them a lot, and engage them in conversation, expand on your explanations. “The difference between education for a child in poverty, middle class, and upper class… At the grocery store each child sees a green food in the produce section. The parent in poverty says “it’s a vegetable… Now don’t touch, sit down and be quiet.” The middle class parent says “it’s a vegetable… It’s called a cucumber”. The upper class parent says “it’s a vegetable called a cucumber. If you soak it in vinegar we can make pickles.”
- Most Pediatricians would advise against this but, make a “strappy pappy” pacifier. Tie a stretchy string to holes on the sides of the pacifier to make it so it can be worn/strapped around the babys head. This will keep it from falling out of the baby’s mouth constantly as a newborn. It is preferable to use this under supervision so they don’t choke on their vomit or swallow the string, though this is unlikely. If it is done correctly, the baby should be able to breathe easily from the sides, and spit it out with exaggerated effort. Pacifiers are known to deter SIDS so it’s not a bad idea for the baby to sleep with one but maybe don’t use the strap in this circumstance.
- Gently waft a kleenex over babys face to calm them to sleep.
- Screaming baby? Try this technique dubbed “The Hold” to calm them down. Bunch their hands/arms together in one hand, while gyrating their lower torso in the other. Here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2C8MkY7Co8&app=desktop
- Keep baby at temperature: 97.3-99.4
- Avoid (Do NOT give) honey (botulism), strawberries, pineapple (during 1st trimester), most drugs and decongestants, alcohol, cigarette smoke.
Wisdom from Others:
- “Sleep when baby sleeps”
- “Every pregnancy is different, every baby is different”
- “Wear them out before bedtime”
- “The best advice is no advice”
Toddlers & Later Stages:
- Get kids into school by 3 or 4 years old.
- Need to settle a disagreement or argument? Try arm wrestling, playing a video game (against each other), or turn every disagreement into a gamble; (okay if I’m wrong then I bet you $10.)
- Try to treat them like little adults; they will tend to act the way you treat them so if you treat them like idiots… well…
- Foster independence at all available opportunities.
- Favor Authoritative Parenting styles over Authoritarian, Permissive, Uninvolved Parenting Styles.
- No Spanking (preferably, if possible): Research has suggested that spanking is associated with negative outcomes. http://www.howcast.com/videos/351310-How-to-Discipline-Your-Toddler-without-Spanking/
- Teach them cute little talents such as magic tricks, balisong flipping, or origami.
- From a very young age, help them understand budgeting by setting them up a mock bank account. Give them allowance. Don’t need to dictate what they spend it on, it’s their money.
- Set up trust fund and bonds, saving account for college.
- Teach TOLERANCE and LOVE. Help them to understand and accept others who differ in their viewpoints and perspectives.
- Get involved in Brain Games, Chess, Optical Illusions, etc.
- Choose an instrument and a sport/let them experiment with a variety. (My favorites: gymnastics, MMA, X-Games, skating, BMX, hockey)
- Heavy emphasis teachings on STEM, Neuroscience and Psychology.
- Read “Classics” books.
- Teach to store away everything in bins and clean up before the next day.
- Teach hand washing, hygiene, sanitization, organization, and cleanliness, manners, courtesy, and flattering habits.
- Take out to have enriching experiences: events, parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, arboretums, camping, symphonies, campuses, dog & reptile (pets) shows, pumpkin/berry picking, etc.
- Make & edit Youtube Vlog, utilizing camera/drone equipment.
- Create (arts & crafts): Vision boards, painting, etc.
- Etc… “to be continued” 😉
- Give Respect and Allow Personal Freedoms
- Respect Privacy (ex. Knock before Entering Bedrooms)
- Encourage Extracurricular Activities
- Help get them Set up at College/University
- Make sure child has also has slightly older youth peers (as friends/social investment) in a few unrelated groups outside of the primary peer groups they can talk to.
Ideas for Entertainment Around the House:
- Hammocks, Swings, Loungers
- Ceiling Mounted Climbing Rope
- Toys and Cardboard Boxes
- Television, Books, Computers, Social Media, and Other Devices
- Arts, Crafts, Costuming
Other Ideas for Entertainment:
- Nature, Camping, Extracurricular Activities and Sports
- Museums, Zoos, Faires, Festivals, Malls
- Handy Handoutswww.handyhandouts.com
- Developmental Milestoneswww.Dars.state.tx.us/ecis/resources/developmentalmilestones.shtml
- First Words Project http://firstwordsproject.com