Nifty vs. Thrifty

Friday, January 29, 2010

Top 3 MUST KNOW tips for making life simpler on the go!

I have worked with children (and families) for many years and the one thing I have noticed is that many parents have unrealistic expectations for their little ones. They sometimes forget to think like a child and they want them to behave like an adult. There are some things that you can do to make your child's life (and your life) easier. I realize that it's impossible to always be prepared but if you take a moment to think ahead you may prevent some disasters from occurring!

1. Children get easily tired and need a lot of sleep. If your child did not get a nap (which is part of their normal routine), do not expect them to sit through a lunch date like an angel. It's just not realistic! Reschedule your plans. Your friend should understand (especially if they have children themselves). If you have a million errands to run and you know your child is going to get tired, try your best to get a babysitter or take the neighbor up on their offer to watch your little one(s). I know this is often impossible but do whatever you can to limit the amount of time your errrands will take. If you are out and you notice your child getting really tired, it's best to cut your visit short if possible.

2. Children need food. Remember your child's belly is so little and he is constantly burning energy. Pack food and/or bottles for outings or be prepared to stop at a store or restaurant when they start getting fussy.

3. Children get bored. It might be a good idea to bring a toy or have an idea of a game your child can play if you know they will be waiting somewhere for extended periods of time. Preset them and let them know where they are going and what they are going to be doing. Children are very resilient but remember, just because you know what a circus is like (for example), does not mean THEY know what's it like. Let your child know your expectations before entering a situation that may be challenging for them. If you are going into a place that you know your child may not be able to handle (a baby in church for example), have a back up plan. If possible, talk to your spouse and decide who will address an issue if it should arise.

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