Our like-minded Aussie mums have unveiled their top tips for parenting toddlers and kids that have genuinely helped make their lives easier.
Parenting tip #1 - GO WITH THE FLOW - PICK YOUR BATTLES
It’s important to go with the flow - you simply can’t control everything and I believe this is an important piece of wisdom for life in general! There’s always going to be SOMETHING to get stuck into. But it’s important to be conscious of where your energy goes - so pick the battles that mean the most. It’ll be less stressful for you, the kids, and your family. One mum put it into perspective “some things just aren't as important as you originally thought.” This is such a great one - and I think we can ALL relate to this. In the heat of the moment when you feel SO defeated, angry, or frustrated, it’s normally only a matter of time until some perspective sets in and things don’t feel as big.
Parenting tip #2 - LET IT GO
Is it just me, or did you sing that as well? Words made famous by Elsa (from Frozen, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock) are actually really relevant to many facets of parenting. Once such facet I can think of is kids and MESS! We like tidiness and order. Kids like to explore and play, and get messy! And although I teach my kids to play and then pack up, there’s certainly been times i’ve just had to let it go because i was dealing with two overtired zombies and I was faced with the prospect of preparing for an hour of arguing, emotional breakdowns and tears, or just accepting that the house will be messy for a little longer.
Parenting tip #3 - KEEP THEM BUSY WHEN YOU WORK
“Use a timer for little kids to play independently for 30 mins at a time when you have to work or chores to do. And if you can, involve them in the chores.”
I love this tip! I personally love timers for my kids because it sets a clear expectation (and my 7 year old now knows how to set a timer on his own iPad). Half hour is a good time as well because let’s face it - kids get bored! But setting that expectation that you’ll be back to check on them in half an hour is great, and don’t get me started on the second part of the tip haha! I’d really love to hear from anyone who involves their kids in chores - how do you do this, does it work, do they get pocket money etc. Just recently, my kids got in trouble and instead of sending them into the corner, I thought I’d be clever and get them to do some chores (my kids are 7 and 4.5 at the time of writing this). I taught my 7 year old how to clean the glass doors and glass panels (like pool glass) on our deck with a bucket of water, spray and a squeegee. I gave my 4 year old a cloth and he had to dust surfaces inside the house. WELL, WELL! They apparently enjoyed this task soooo much, they decided to get together and take the bucket of water around the whole house. They used HALF an entire spray bottle of multi-purpose spray - I don’t even know what they did but I did find puddles of water ALL OVER THE HOUSE (insert smack face emoji)!
Parenting tip #4 - LAUNDRY HACKS!
Hack #1: Wash each kid's clothing separately, dry, chuck in basket. Laundry sorted!
Hack #2: Sort the clean washing into baskets, one per person, then fold them as they go into the draws. Minimal double handling this way. No "is this a PJ shirt or normal shirt?" conundrums.
Parenting tip #5 - PREPARE WITH EXTRA COMFORTERS!
Have more than one, teddy/blanket/comforter so you can wash and one while the other is in use.
Personally, my kids have never been ones to hang onto a teddy or comforter of any kind (i tried!), but this makes complete sense! Sometimes on the Facebook mum groups I see desperate pleas from mums looking for the identical teddy or comforter for their bubs - so best to be organised and avoid the tantrums. Also, from personal experience, have some spare dummies handy too!
Parenting tip #6 - BRUSHING TEETH HACK
Brush their teeth while they're in the bath - two things ticked off the list at the same time!
Parenting tip #7 - TOY ROOM HACK
Categorise toys in small crates and bring out different ones at different times. This keeps things (relatively) in order, and they won’t get bored with the same toys all the time.
Parenting tip #8- CO-SLEEP
Co-sleeping is da bomb!!
Look, this is a very personal one for each family/child but I have to admit, I didn’t ‘plan’ on co-sleeping, I just fell into it with my first son. And 7 years later, I am now co-sleeping with my third son! It’s worked for us, and might be something to consider if separate beds/cots just aren’t working for you!
Parenting tip #9 - SHARE CLOTHES WITH FRIENDS!
I don’t know about you, but for me, with my first child, the thought of second-hand clothing didn’t even cross my mind! After I had my second baby, I thought we were done so donated / handed down all of my baby stuff including clothes! So when we decided to have our third, I made sure to borrow some hand me downs first or buy bags of pre-used clothing, that way - I only purchased what I didn’t have. Babies (and kids!) are in their clothes for SUCH a short amount of time, so it really makes sense. The other thing to consider is, invest in GOOD QUALITY clothing! That way, they last wash after wash and can be handed down to other kids in good condition. Keep clothes in bags according to their size and pass around friends/family. Keeps clothing out of landfill!
Parenting tip #10 - DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. CUDDLE WHILE YOU CAN.
And, just when you’re trying to get by each day, there’s always one person who pulls you up and smacks some perspective into you. And yes, as hard as each day can sometimes seem, this piece of advice couldn’t be more comforting in those trying times. Listen to your child, hug and kiss them as much as you can. They do grow up so quickly and they do need us in those moments which may not be convenient for us, but mean the whole world to them. So stop, listen, hug, play, kiss, and love. The dishes will still be there tomorrow.
I would love to hear if you already implement any of these practices or if you’re going to try out any of these parenting tips for toddlers and kids . Be sure to leave a comment below!