SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, March 21, 2011

Creative Parenting Tips and Tricks | Family Economics

By Cathe

Parenting may not always be easy, but there are lots of creative ways to get through the sticky parts of parenting small children. I want to share a few creative tips and tricks that worked very well for me during the first several years of raising my three kids.

The one finger rule
Most parents warn small children not to touch anything in the store while shopping, for risk of breaking items. However, I found that not allowing tactile, curious kids to touch and feel is often a losing battle. When shopping with my little ones I would ask them which finger they were going to use. More often than not they would hold up their first digit, and we would proceed into the store where they were welcome to touch, but carefully and only with that one finger. This technique proved 100 percent successful with three small children, every time.

Hanging on
My kids are all within three years of age of each other, so store parking lots were often a scary place when unloading and loading little ones into the car. My rule was to always have one hand on the vehicle or me until you were in the car. This rule kept one child from wandering away while I was preoccupied with another. Also, when one felt too old to be hand-held in certain places, having them hang on to my hip belt-loop proved a reasonable alternative.

Marco Polo
Ever call your child’s name and although they are in earshot, they just don’t hear you? I’m sure there’s some interesting psychology behind that, but we solved the issue with a simple routine of the game “Marco Polo.” Beginning at home, I practiced with my kids- when they were out of site, I would occasionally call “Marco!” and expect to hear all three voices replying “Polo!” This was a great help once my children began private bathing and I felt the need to constantly confirm their safety. In stores, this routine was a saving grace when a child left my view. Calling “Marco” in public works like a charm, (unless your child’s name is actually Marco!)

Do you have some unique parenting tricks up your sleeve?

4 Comments so far

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On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, Happy Home Fairy wrote

This was such a great article!! I really enjoyed the one finger rule - such a sweet way to acknowledge and affirm your little one's sense of wonder/curiosity for things. I will definitely be trying that! I just did a post on tips I do for my Happy Buddy when he is strapped into a high chair or car seat. You can read about it here! http://happyhomefairy.com/2011/03/21/fairy-tips-5-things-to-do-tofor-your-happy-buddy-when-in-the-high-chair/">http://happyhomefairy.com/2011/03/21/fairy-tips-5-things-to-do-tofor-your-happy-buddy-when-in-the-high-chair/

On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, Brenna in Idaho wrote

My son is almost 4, and he absolutely hates going home. We used to get into long drawn out battles of will over this, no matter how much advance warning I give. Now, I no longer demand he get ready to go; instead, I call out a challenge - "I bet I can beat you to ____!" No matter how strong-willed he's feeling that day, he simply cannot resist the idea of winning in a race against Mommy. He always manages to beat me, somehow, and then he's too excited to be upset about leaving.

On Monday, March 21, 2011, Trisha Novotny wrote

Great article

On Monday, March 21, 2011, Inda in CA wrote

Having a home daycare – I was always looking for things to entertain the children with. As soon as I could I taught them their phone numbers (parents cell #’s) and where they lived… one parent who took their child to Disney land was so thankful – he was left in a store thinking the other parent had him. I also taught him when he found himself lost to go straight to the front and talk to the person behind the cash register – he gave them his moms phone number and not knowing the area code also gave them his home address… they called his mom and he ~ wasn’t scared a bit! – also, out on drives with the children I taught them street names asking randomly “where are we??” they soon learned at a glance what street we were on, also right and left as I had them guide me back to my house. (These were preschoolers!)

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