8 Hacks to Crack the Impossible Parenting Code

It’s no secret that you need to get really creative when dealing with kids of all ages. That’s why parents stick together and share their most valuable life hacks in hopes they will help others too. And we compiled them for your sake.

1. Instead of making threats to your kids when they don’t want to do something, make everything seem like a fun game.

Imagine the situation: you need to go somewhere by car and your kid refuses to get in their car seat. It’s natural to get annoyed at this and start making threats, like, “If you don’t get in there right now, I will never buy you toys again,” to get your child to do what you want out of fear. But instead, turn this into a game! For example, you can say, “Let’s see if you can get in this seat in 5 seconds! Ready? 1, 2, 3...”

2. If you don’t want your child to go to a certain part of a room, mark it off with a tape and tell the kid it’s a danger zone.

You may not want your kid to run around the kitchen while you are cooking or in general (there are knives there, after all). Use painter’s tape (or anything else that comes to mind) to mark the part of the room as “off-limits” and tell your kid it’s a space only for adults, and if a kid steps foot there, then something bad will happen.

3. Instead of saying threatening sentences that start with “if,” start saying nice-sounding sentences that start with “when.”

Let us elaborate a little further. “If you don’t clean your room, you won’t be allowed to watch TV tonight,” is phrased like a threatening demand, in hopes that the child will clean their room out of fear. There is a nicer way to say this exact thing: “When you clean your room, you can watch TV tonight.” The child will respond better to the sentence that makes it sound like there will be a reward for their efforts.

4. Make a funny noise as your kid falls so they will laugh instead of cry.

For your toddler, learning how to walk can be a time when they fall a lot, but there is no need to make a big deal out of every little bump. It’s best if you make a funny noise as they fall: it will make your child laugh instead of cry.

5. To make your kid leave the playground easily, do the following steps.

1. Let your kid know how much time they have left on the playground (for example, 5 minutes) and stick to it. Don’t say, “We will be leaving in 5,” and spend an extra 15 minutes on your phone.

2. When the time is almost up, notify them by saying they have (for example) 10 seconds left. Use these 10 seconds either to cheerfully suggest they slide one more time or to suggest they run to the car as a part of the game.

3. Make going home sound appealing. For example, ask them what music they want to listen to in the car so the kid has something to look forward to, even though their playtime is over.

6. Ask your kid to make a list of things they want to get before going to the store, just like an adult would do.

To save some money and avoid your kid having a meltdown at the store because you refuse to buy something for them, ask them to make a list of things they want to buy beforehand. Let them include things that would normally be on your list, like, for example, fruit. Tell the kid that this is all you’re going to buy, and if they see something else they want, they can add it to the list next time.

At the store, have your kid put their items in the cart by themselves. You can also look at some item and say, “I really want to buy it, but it’s not on my list,” so your kid doesn’t feel alone.

7. To give your kids extra motivation to clean, say there are 5 bucks hidden under one of their toys.

Money will give your kid extra motivation to clean up: they will pick up the toys in an effort to find the money. Whether you actually hide the money somewhere in their room is up to you.

8. If your kid is always losing the lids of markers, tape all the lids together.

This way, your kids will still be able to take out the markers they need, and when they are done using them, they all go in the same spot.

Bonus: ingenious parents

“Follow me for more parenting tips.”

“Today’s tiny victory: they were fighting over the purple socks. They were both thrilled with my solution.”

Please note: This article was updated in February 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit dorky2 / Reddit


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