Stop asking Google for the best parenting tips. They’re right here, in a short, and simple list. Without all the hubbub, let’s just get to it!
by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a proud mom of four daughters, devoted wife, and the owner of Atomic Mommy – a media company dedicated to empowering parents. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life. She’s been featured in Parents magazine and Voyage Savannah magazine. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @atomic_mommy.
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Parenting is hard, we all know this. It doesn’t have to be, though. It can actually be a lot easier if you let it. Not sure what I mean? Well, here’s some of the best parenting tips I can share – they’ve been super helpful in my own parenting journey, and I have four daughters!
#1 Stop Folding Their Laundry
Ugh, who doesn’t hate doing laundry! We all do, but matching pairs of socks is especially the grime of laundry. So stop doing it! If your child is old enough to get themselves dressed in the morning or can match shapes and colors, they’re old enough to learn to fold their own laundry. Yep, I said it. If you let them fold their own laundry, then you’re not only teaching them a life skill, but you’re also freeing yourself.
#2 Stop Cooking Gourmet Meals
No joke, you need to stop cooking gourmet meals. Why do you need to hassle yourself trying to plan the week’s menu of healthy dishes, checking every recipe for specific quality, when you could just DoorDash Sushi, Salad, and Vegan/Gluten-Free meal options? Honestly, don’t let the community of moms shame you into thinking this method of bringing food to your children is bad, because that’s not the case. Bite the bullet and test it out for yourself. You will save a ton of time, gas, money, and stress. You’re welcome!
#3 You Don’t Need Big Dates
Put the kids to bed an hour earlier every night. This will give you and your partner an extra hour each night to wind down together over a glass of wine or warm milk, whatever floats your boat. When you are lucky enough to get a sitter for several hours, grab a to-go meal, and get a hotel room for a few hours. Take a nap or a shower with no little ones crying or screaming. You will be grateful you did!
#4 Train Your Kids For Sleepovers Early
Let the grandparents take the kids for a few sleepovers each month early in your child’s life. This will prepare them for longer sleepovers with them, and in the future, will help them be accustomed to sleeping over friends houses much better. Congratulations if you do this right because you’ll have earned yourself many nights off of parenting, each year.
#5 Let Your MIL Drop-Off Dinner
This used to drive me nuts when I was first establishing my household, but after a mental break from my in laws (three years long), I finally realized that my MIL is just bored and needs something to live for: i.e. cooking dinners and dropping them off. Why is this to your benefit to allow? Because, you’ll have won the long war with the MIL and get free, stress-free meals for your kids and husband. So, yeah, give in on this one.
#6 Stop Cleaning The House
Seriously, what was the point of having a kid if they’re not going to help you clean the house (when they’re old enough obviously)? Look, I’m sorry for stating the obvious, but that kid lives in the same house as you. If they’re old enough to use an iPad and say “Can I Have”, then they’re old enough to dust the furniture, help put away groceries, and keep their room neat. It’s that simple.
#7 Let Them Have Digital
Yes, yes, we all know that being on the phones/tablets for hours is bad for eyes, behavior, mood, and well-being. Guess what… so is drinking wine everyday, smoking cigarettes, and eating too much junk. But we do it anyway. So give in a little, and let them have the phones/tablets for an hour each day. This will take the stress away from you for a good frame of time, and in turn, they’ll be more in tune with listening to what you have to say after that.
#8 Pick Your Battles
This one is directed towards parents of older kids. By age 13, most kids have a great foundation for what the rules of the house and world are. Are they going to mess up? Sure. Are they going to rebel? Probably. Will they get out of control? Not sure. The point is that they’re in that weird age where they know what to do, like being taken care of, but hate being treated like a kid. So, when they mess up, pick your battles. Some will be worth arguing, while others, well, you can ask them to tell you what they think they did wrong and what they believe the punishment should be. Giving them the reigns a bit more allows them to grow into their new roles in a responsible way, but also gives you the ability to relax and stress less over what you can’t control.
#9 Don’t Hold Grudges
If you need to get mad, then get mad. But then let it go. Why? Your child is watching and absorbing everything you do. This includes how you handle your anger. Teach them to allow their emotions to flow in and also flow out. You do this by making simple changes. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t gossip negatively about others. Try not to stay angry at them or your partner for too long. Always come up with solutions to tiny and large problems.
#10 Incorporate Private Time
Oh how I love telling my children it’s private time for mommy. They know that means to let me be in peace and quiet and when I’m ready, I’ll come find them. How do they know this, because I taught them. How did I teach them? I started when they were in their 2/3 year old phase. I would say, “Okay, mommy is going to sit down for a few minutes. You hang out here in your room, and I’ll listen on the monitor in case you need me. Just yell Mommy if you need me.” In the beginning, I’d sit in the other room for 15 minutes, then it became 20, and later it became 30. Once they hit 5 and 6 years old, I was up to 45 minutes. Why is private time important? It teaches your child that you need a few moments for yourself and it also teaches them independence.
Stop trying to control every thing. Instead, flow like the river, and you will wash away or wash over the obstacles in your path. Give yourself the freedom to be lax, and your children will grow up with a similar mindset. Forgive yourself for your flaws and inabilities, and your children will fortify their strengths and work on their own capabilities. Remember, you’re their mirror, and everything you do they’ll absorb into their personalities. So give them a flexible personality, that’s forgiving, strong, and free.
Hopefully, the parenting tips I gave you above, help you enjoy a less-stressful parenting journey!