Some Parenting Inspiration – On a Dreary Wednesday

It must have something to do with early onset second-birthday-syndrome. Maybe I’m in denial that this little creature, once so tiny and dependent, is growing leaps and bounds every day.

This all makes me even more grateful for all the hard-working parents before me, and the ideas they have so kindly left in their wake. Periodically, I thought I might highlight a few of the new insights I’ve picked up. Most of the things I take note of aren’t yet applicable in our own parenting adventures, but I jot down fun traditions, practical discipline tips, and everything in between as it crosses my path.

Here are a few things that have piqued my interest lately. These are completely random in nature, so bear that in mind as you read!

Sweeping Guide: Tape off a small kitchen tile with coloured/patterned tape, and have your child sweep dirt (or, if they’re younger, maybe something more exciting like toy blocks) in to that area.

Praise Report: Each evening at supper, go around the table and give a “praise report”, noting something positive you’ve noticed another sibling/parent do throughout the day.

Pirate Supper: Cover the table with newspaper, and make a “hands-only” supper (pizza, finger foods) – no plates, no cutlery. How COOL would that be for the kids and such an easy clean-up for the parents.

Practice Birthdays: On a random day, at breakfast, bring your child a mini-cupcake with a lit candle. Tell them it’s to help them hone their candle-blowing techniques before their real birthday.

Half-Birthdays: Along the same lines…celebrate half birthdays with half a cake and a half-used candle.

Memorizing Numbers: If you want your child to remember your phone number, make it the pass code on a smart-phone/tablet device. For addresses, take some index cards and write the number, street name, city, province/state, postal code, country etc., on different cards. Mix them up and have the children learn to put them in order.

Fair Doesn’t Mean Equal: While we don’t have any sibling rivalries to deal with yet, I remember complaining about “fairness” and “equality” lots when I was a little girl. One Mom used a simple object lesson to show that fairness doesn’t always mean “equal-ness”. She picked a favourite family recipe and had the children all add the same amount…of every ingredient. Same of sugar, flour…baking soda…salt. It’s a pretty powerful lesson that sometimes fair doesn’t mean equal, and being equal in all things (maybe having the same bedtime as an older sister) doesn’t always give a favorable result.

Indoor Campouts: No electricity, no TV, no microwaves, and everyone sleeps on air mattresses in the living room. I loved camping out in the backyard as a kid, but this option would work year-round!

Banana Sushi: A banana, covered in peanut butter, rolled in Rice Krispies. You could take this to a whole new level with melted chocolate for wasabi. Adorable.

Birthday Interview Book: Ask your child the same set of questions (there are templates ALL over the web) on their birthday from ages 3-18 (favourite colour, what they want to be when they grow up), and watch how they change!

I have a whole notebook full of more ideas, and I’ll post some more in the near future!

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