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- Don't drunkenly tell your in-laws your MN nickname. Even if they never look you up, the fear will take over your life.
- Remember to print off best photos of children. If you lose your memory stick or your computer dies you'll have something at least.
- Never get involved with a man who is 'getting his band together'.
- If your DH says he wants breakfast in bed, chuck a sleeping bag on to the kitchen floor.
- Thinking of buying flowers? Unless I can plant them in my garden, I am not interested.
- Start a family quotes book. It is very amusing to read back after a while and although you think you will remember all the funny quotes from your kids, you never will unless you write them down.
- If you're feeling fed up with your partner, look at some old photo albums together (pics of you with and without kids). It will remind you of good times and why you liked each other in the first place.
- Always take toys with you when visiting childless friends. There is nothing worse than a bored child when you want to have a catch up.
- When your new baby arrives, programme your partner: his work colleagues are not welcome to visit during the first week!
- Always make sure that you really praise your child when they do something good. After all you don't want them to think that all you do is grumble!
- Reading books on becoming a big brother/sister to your child to get him ready to accept a little sibling.
- I have never once been in an argument with either of my dd's where screaming / shouting has made the situation better. I ALWAYS do my very best to remain calm and unflustered whatever they are saying / shouting at me.
When I've been driven to scream and shout, the argument has always gone up a level and just got worse.
- When giving positive praise to your children tell them not only are you 'proud' of them but they should be 'proud of themselves.' This builds self esteem and allows them become more confident.
- Pack some snacks and drinks for your birthing partner in your hospital bag.
- Mother-in-law annoying you with useless advice? Mentally append the following to her comments: 'and look how messed up my family are'. You'll no longer feel the need to bludgeon her with a teaspoon.
- Don't point score with your partner (I changed the last nappy etc) but praise them for any little thing they do. As much as it grates, positive feedback will result in them continuing to help.
- Be nice to your in-laws. They will love having your little brat for the weekend - and your little brat will still be an angel to them, no matter how badly they've actually behaved.
- If you possibly can, organise a night off from your child for you and your partner. We left our one yr old son with my parents and went to a hotel for the night - a brief break from the responsibility and a good sleep made me feel 10 years younger.
- When trying to make friends with other parents, go to everything you can that is offered for children your child's age and get to them slightly early so that you can chat to the few who are there before all their friends arrive.
- I know not everyone can do this, but if you can, leave your partner to look after the kids alone for a day every now and again and resist the temptation to leave lists of intructions. It's good for everyone to realise you're not the only one who can run things, and should promote bonding and understanding all round (on a good day!).