“Parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.” – Unknown

Tips for Parents

Being a parent is not easy. It can be very stressful, fun, annoying and gratifying. Children can push you to your wits end or they can give you so much love it is amazing. Over the years, I have watched my parents deal with my siblings and of course, myself. I laughed at some of their excuses and reasons they gave us. Here are my personal tips for parents that I have learned, watched and experienced with my own parents.

  1. The child that is the nicest may be the “real” troublemaker.
  2. Remember your kid’s names (even in high stress situations).
  3. Make sure all your kids are in the car – I suggest counting them. Leaving them at the store, gas station or church is not a good thing.
  4. Keep it simple – no long explanations.
  5. Be consistent and same with each kid.
  6. Don’t show you have favorites – we always pick up on it!
  7. Don’t forget what it’s like to be a teenager.
  8. We need to hear “I love you and I’m proud of you.”
  9. We always remember the “quality” time.
  10. Avoid creating competition with your kids – if they play the same sport, have them play different positions.
  11. Kids need to play outside! Sunshine and fresh air is good for them. Internet is not!
  12. Be creative when you don’t have money. Make things they can keep forever.
  13. Junk food is okay in moderation.
  14. Go on picnics!
  15. Play games with us, even when we are teenagers.
  16. Sometimes I need alone time with you.
  17. Don’t talk to me in a babies voice when I’m nine years old.
  18. No, it’s not funny when my brothers freeze my bra!
  19. I don’t always want to play or take care of my younger siblings. Give me a break and hire a baby sitter!
  20. Tell me the truth! Then teach me how to work through it, solve it or learn from it.
  21. Death happens. Please don’t shut down. Talk to me. I still need you.
  22. Yes, I can hear you, and no, my ears aren’t clogged. Sometimes I choose not listen! So, yelling doesn’t help.
  23. Barbie dolls should not be tortured or their hair set on fire – ever!!
  24. Let me discover some of my own mistakes.
  25. Don’t let the older kids spoil the truth about Santa to the younger kids.
  26. Some times it’s okay for you to bend the rules – their needs to be exceptions.
  27. Dads make terrible barbers!
  28. You don’t need to clean your gun when my date comes over.
  29. Spinach does not make me into Popeye! And carrots wont make me see in the dark either!!
  30. Listen! Just listen!
  31. Some times I want to be alone.
  32. Don’t tell me there is no monster under my bed! Pretend to kill the monster under my bed!
  33. Please don’t style my hair like an old lady and don’t pull it so tight in a ponytail that my eyes get pulled shut!
  34. We get tired of hand-me-down clothes. We want something new!
  35. Humor and fun makes all the difference.
  36. I watch everything you do, even when you think I don’t. Be careful of the example you are setting.
  37. Not having vegetables in every meal won’t kill me.
  38. We always feed the dog the gross food. Just saying…
  39. If I fall down and skin my knees, its okay. Don’t baby me. Tell me I will be okay and help me up.
  40. When I start getting acne, please buy me acne cream before it gets too bad and PLEASE don’t point out my acne to everyone!! They can see it! You don’t need to tell them!
  41. Talk to me about sex.
  42. Saying “no” is okay.
  43. Trust me until I prove you wrong.
  44. Make sure the kids don’t stuff food up their nose. The doctors really don’t like that.
  45. Playing loud music is not going to fry my brain.
  46. Don’t let us drink pop – its bad for us!
  47. Just because there are starving children in China doesn’t mean I will eat my brussels sprouts!
  48. We know money doesn’t grow on trees.
  49. You don’t have to finish washing dishes or cleaning the bathroom before we go somewhere.
  50. Give them chores to do and pay them. Teach them how to handle money.
  51. Do family activities.
  52. Just because my siblings like it doesn’t mean I will like it.
  53. Please don’t lick your hand and push my hair back or clean the dirt off my face. That’s gross.
  54. Teach me strong morals that will last a lifetime.
  55. When I load the dishwasher, please don’t redo it. At least I loaded it!
  56. Sit down and help me with my homework even if you don’t know how to do it.
  57. Lead by example, not by words.
  58. Encourage me, praise me, teach me and love me.
  59. Talk with me, not at me.
  60. We don’t expect you to be perfect, admit your mistakes.
  61. Family meals are important. So is good healthy food.
  62. Sometimes we just need to have fun and be silly.
  63. Be a positive influence.
  64. Don’t be overprotective. How am I going to learn if you don’t let me experience life?
  65. Just because I don’t want to hang out with you doesn’t mean I don’t love you. Sometimes I just want to hang out with my friends and be stupid.
  66. Building a fort with me is the coolest thing ever!
  67. Don’t hide the cookies in the obvious spots. We will always find them.
  68. Let me make the decision if I want to share any woman stuff with dad!
  69. Flood pants are embarrassing!
  70. If you are having marital problems, please don’t download on me. I love both of you and I don’t want to be in the middle.
  71. I hate liver! Don’t force me to eat it. It’s disgusting.
  72. There are times I’m really going to mess up. Don’t tell me “I told you so” just tell me you love me.
  73. If you are going to punish me, make sure I understand why.
  74. When I learn to drive, I will drive exactly like you do.
  75. Dad, when you fart, we all know it’s not the dog!