Missy from It’s Almost Naptime!! is asking
What’s the best advice about parenting you ever received?
I’m thinking about the toddler going-into preschool years with Max right now and remembering what specific things helped me through that time. Besides lots of booze. Just kidding.
I remember something my friend Lavonne told me that made a big difference when Max was about two yrs old. She said to not waste a good nap time on chores.
Before I heard that I thought the opposite. Nap time was THE time to get things done around the house. Well, in my experience after following Lavonne’s advice, it has made me a better mom to allow that time to be time for me.
Maybe it’s just a mental thing. I started to look forward to nap time and consider them more sacred because I could just sit down guilt-free. As time went on I learned how to do chores while Max (and now Mini) were awake. Not easy, of course, but things got done to a certain satisfaction anyway.
Now I’m reaping the benefits for following her advice. Max, my talkative 6 1/2 year old who asks a million hypothetical “what happens if…” questions and won’t stop talking ever ever ever, still has an hour or two of rest time each day. He knows it’s a time where we don’t have conversations and I can do my thang.
And I’m a better mom for it.
Here’s some other helpful advice I’ve received from other good sources like Lavonne:
- Teach the phrase “2 more minutes” from an early age (2 more minutes and we’re leaving the playground, 2 more minutes until lights out, etc.)
- When disciplined, take time to softly talk afterwards so he/she can repeat back to you why the discipline/consequence happened. Offer him/her a chance to say sorry and that the behavior was wrong.
- Manners can be taught early (I fail at this but it’s still good advice)
- Be teachable
- Use your lower voice and give clear instructions especially to boys (saw this on Super Nanny…say “socks! shoes!” instead of “we’re about to go to school now, honey, should we put on your socks and shoes?” Boys didn’t hear a word of that! 🙂
- Find a time in the day where you can consistently spend as “quality time” with either Mom or Dad or both. For us, it’s bedtime. We spend at least an hour (you can roll your eyes at me, we only had one child for five years). Bedtime has been an incredibly special time for us. One of those memories is written here.
Thanks, Missy, for getting me thinking about all of this. There’s a lot that I’m still need to learn so I’m looking forward to visiting other participants in this first Mom to Mom carnival at It’s Almost Naptime!!
So, tell me. What’s the best advice you ever received?