Parenting is like guerrilla warfare – we embark on small, infrequent battles independently while trying to out-think and outsmart our children. After all, if we didn’t they’d be running around in the buff coated with chocolate and candy, right? Maybe that’s just my kids, but I’m sure other parents can relate to having more problems than answers with their kids. Sometimes you just have to look at parenting as a battlefield – the goal is to raise well-mannered, well-groomed, well-behaved children. But first you have to get through the minefields of potty training, the battles of healthy eating and hygiene, the cooperation skirmishes and, don’t forget, the No That’s A Daddy Word mushroom clouds. Today I’d like to share with you my favorite parenting tactics, as well as information on the Clorox Lounge and the Last Comic Sitting contest – I think you’ll really like them!
One of our biggest battles has always been the bathtub. Not only does my 3-year old not want to get in the bathtub, he’s convinced that getting his hair wet is somehow dangerous to his health. We’ve tried just about everything for his hair wetting – the little visors that keep water out of their eyes, a wash cloth over his forehead, the cups with the squishy plastic bit that fits to their heads, all of it. But I finally figured out what will capture his attention – he loves pirates. So I put an X that marks the spot on the ceiling above the bathtub in tape. A craftier parent would’ve probably devised some sort of reward system for the X where he would actually find a treasure. Not me.
When he sees the X (and behaves getting his hair washed), he gets to play with his Pirate set. What is a Pirate set you ask? Why, it’s simple – it is a collection of items like a construction paper X, a page painted with watercolors on one side and has a map of the house on the other, a sand colored baby blanket, a bandanna (what pirate doesn’t need a sweet do-rag?), a small wood box with a lid that a friend made for me back in high school, and pennies. He can go and hide his pirate booty with the blanket, put the X on top, and drag his dad around to find it. It’s really quite entertaining for me, and it convinces him to get his hair washed.
Now you might consider this a bit much for such a simple activity as washing hair. But I’ve found that if I get him to do what I want for 5 minutes AND give him a bonus of 30 minutes playing, I’ve not only won the battle (I like to win) and organized Daddy-Kid time, but I’ve also facilitated him wearing himself out before bed. See? Win-win-win! It may not be the simplest tactic ever, but it works time and again! What is your favorite parenting tactic or trick?
This post was inspired by the Clorox Lounge – if yo haven’t been there yet, you need to check it out. They’re turning the bathroom into the laughroom with Sherri Shepherd and funny anecdotes, giveaways, coupons, and lots of humor. To kick it all off, they’re holding the Last Comic Sitting Contest and Sweepstakes starting February 27, 2012. You can head over to The Clorox Lounge and sign-up for a chance to win $10,000.
Show them some love here:
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox® blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”
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