Mumsnet hacks for parenting like a boss
Parenthood has a funny way of thrusting you into the deep end with little to no instruction. But one way to cope with the unpredictability of it all is to create your own manual of tricks (eg turning the bedroom tidy-up into a game so your kids think cleaning is actually fun).
To celebrate the launch of their new Parenting Hacks podcast, Disney Junior UK asked Mumsnetters for their little hacks that make parenting less of a whirlwind, and more of a breeze
Encourage them to try new things
“If I want my kids to try a new food, I don’t offer it to them. I just pretend to secretly eat it but ensure I get “caught”. They are outraged and beg to try it because they presume that it’s a treat. You have to mix in some genuine treat foods so they don’t rumble you though!”
Use stories to give them a confidence boost
“Create a story hero or heroine for your child who is like them in some way. Tell them stories about that character to inspire or reassure them. 'Katherine The Brave' does it for my daughter.”
Build up their responsibility with small tasks
“For supermarket shopping I always let them choose one of the family meals each week and they then need to find all the ingredients we need. I also use the scan and shop facility, the kids take turns in using the scanning gun, shopping is loaded straight into bags in the trolley and it’s usually done without tantrums (theirs or mine).”
Spend whatever time you can with them
“Mine are only little but my best tip is to spend at least 20 minutes of time playing whatever they want to do, with your completely undivided attention. Even if you’re really busy this is great for making them feel like you’ve had quality time. It doesn’t sound like much but it makes a big difference IMO.”
Get creative with healthy meals
“I get my kids to eat their vegetables by making the food on their plate into the shape of a face (eg. peas for hair). Kids always love that.”
Quiet them down with a hushed tone
“When your children are shouting or aren't listening, just lower your voice. It's amazing how well children will listen to a quiet or even whispered request from a parent.”
Avoid the fuss by giving them options
“Give your kids controlled choices to prevent battlefields. For example, if my DS won't sit down to do his reading, I'll say “would you like to sit on the sofa or the chair?” (Because actually I don't care where he sits, I just want the reading to be done). My DS will think he's getting a choice and then he'll engage."
Positive words can help their mental health
“I read affirmations to my son every day. There is power in speaking out and it is really good for your soul. I focus on his mental health because if he has a healthy mind and good resilience then everything else is more likely to fall into place.”
Try to get them out of the house
“When my DDs were younger, I found that making sure we got out of the house every single day, whatever the weather, made the day much more manageable. A walk to the park, trip to shops, family visit or whatever. It doesn't matter what it is, but just getting out for an hour really helps.”
Make the chores fun with a game
“Some simple reverse psychology goes a long way. I usually say, “No way can you pick up more toys than me!!” or “Mummy is so good at putting books on the shelf, you'll never beat me!!” and then watch in delight as the children race to beat Mummy whilst doing minimal amounts."
A child is the greatest gift you can have but being a parent can be stressful at times. TV shows like Vampirina and PJ Masks, aim to spark little conversations around everyday problems that can sometimes be difficult for parents and children, and provide fun solutions for them. Disney Junior UK has now launched a new Parenting Hacks podcast with Helen Skelton to bring together parents, experts and special guests to explore tips, tricks and ways to provide more support to busy parents.