The Best Parenting Articles This Week – December 21

I dropped the ball on my new habit of doing a post on Friday’s containing my favorite parenting articles from the past week. Cut me some slack though, it’s tough to start a new tradition. Anyway, here are the articles from this week that I found to be noteworthy.

What’s Your Favorite Holiday Christmas Book? – I tend to avoid New York Times articles the best I can, but I truly found this one to be nice. It talks about all sorts of different Christmas books, and reminded me of some old favorites from when I was young. There is a nice string of comments as well to add even more great Christmas books to the discussion. Go join in!

Holidays, Travel, and Baby’s Sleep – This article is a well timed one about how you can get your baby to sleep through holiday traveling. It can be tough if you baby is used to a specific nap time. They might be out of their element in a strange house they aren’t used to. This article had some pretty good tips that might be able to help you get your child to sleep.

When the Kids Scream Fire – This post was a really good and funny one. Nobody was hurt in the process of a tiny mistake, and we can all laugh about it now. The author used his experience as an example for parents. The example shows that parents need to teach their children how to do specific tasks around the house before delegating any type of work to them. Showing your child how to do a seemingly simple task multiple times is the safe way to handle things. Better safe than sorry!

Sheltering, Protecting, and Talking with Our Children: Parenting for Sanity in a Seemingly Insane World – This post talks about how to talk to your children about tragic events like what we saw last week in Connecticut. Nobody likes to talk about tragedy, but it is best that your child hears news from you. Otherwise they may be susceptible to believing rumors they hear from other children at school. This is a situation where, as a parent, you have to step up and do the right thing.

How Do You Measure the Success of a Parent

Every parent wants their child to be a great success. They want to be able to say that they raised a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or chemist and that makes sense. So much of today’s world is wrapped around what you do for a living. Many people would see it as a great parenting success if you end up having kids that turn out to be successful people at their jobs. Having said that, I tend to disagree with that being successful parenting. Surely you do not want to see your child become unemployed later in life, but I don’t think successful parenting depends solely on what your child ends up becoming. You have to look at the happiness factor, and if your child had a fun life growing up. There is a lot of value in one singular good memory from growing up, which is something that not everybody can say they have.

A post called “How to Measure the Success of a Parent”, caught my attention recently when it talked about this topic. Make sure that your child is having fun as they grow up. They might have more fond memories of you if you separate work and special time with them.

Teach Your Kids How to Do Easy Tasks to Help at Home

A parent has a ton of responsibilities. This isn’t something I thought you all needed to know. It’s basically a given, but it was the proper place to start this post. Parents have a lot to do in a day, and sometimes wish they had more help. As your children get older, it is definitely okay to delegate smaller tasks to them as you see appropriate. Take out the trash on Mondays, set the table for dinner, etc. you get the picture. Kids are capable of doing smaller things like this that can make your life a little bit easier. A word to the wise though, if you are going to have your kids do any king of task that could present even the slightest danger to them; make sure that you teach them how to do it.

The last tidbit of parenting information shared above comes from a story I read recently. The post was titled, “When the Kids Scream Fire”, and was about a dad who asked his kids to take a tray out of the oven for him while he was busy. Seems like a simple enough task for an older child to handle, but somehow an oven mitt caught on fire. These are things you have to watch out for as a parent. Make sure that you teach your children how to do easy tasks before asking them to act on their own. Just in case you were wondering, the father and all his children are safe from the story. I encourage you to check it out though, it is pretty interesting.

Enjoy Your Children’s Birthdays

When you were a child you probably looked forward to birthdays so much. Cake, friends, and presents are a great thing. Most of all children like to become a year older because it typically means they are allowed to do more. This means going to friends houses for longer, staying up later, and maybe being allowed to play in sports leagues. These are all exciting things! For parents, birthdays are less of a fun event, and more of a reminder. Birthdays remind you that you have become a year older, and as an adult that’s not really that cool. I have a suggestion though, stop focusing on your own birthday and get excited for your child’s birthday. Experience the joy that they feel on their special day each year, and be happy when they are happy. You can also use a child’s birthday to think back on the year that has occurred. In most instances this will make you feel really proud of your child and yourself for maturing as the child and the parent respectively.

I thought of this idea while reading a post about what a birthday means on Domestic Dork. Her take on how she has felt on each of her daughter’s birthdays so far made me want to write this post.

Teach Your Child Responsibility When It Comes to Electronics

Chances are your child probably asked for some sort of electronic gift this Christmas. Between the new iPhone 5, mini iPad, or all the gaming consoles around today your kid is bound to desire one of them. Technology is now an integral part of our society, and most parents wouldn’t hesitate to give the newest technology to their children. I am not saying that they should, but I am saying that there should be distinct and clear limitations on how often they use the technology.

A post I read on She Knows Parenting titled, “Gardget-Gifting Gone Bad” talks about the dangers of giving your child the electronic devices they so strongly desire. While these gifts are all, admittedly, really cool children can become obsessed with these things. This can cut into things like their grades and development of a social life (friends). So just make sure to set a limit of these sort of things if you’re getting your kid the newest technology this Christmas. Set an example and show them how responsibly use technology. If your face is constantly buried in your iPhone, chances are theirs will be too.

Why Do Kids Always Want a Puppy for Christmas?

If you have kids there is a very good chance you have seen one thing on their Christmas wish lists for years. A puppy! Unless you have a family pet of course. It just seems like kids can’t resist getting their hopes up and asking for a puppy every single year for Christmas. I can’t personally blame them because I did the same thing back when I was a kid. Come on, who can resist a puppy! Realistically though it can be difficult for parents to deal with this question every year, and find a way to explain that a puppy is just not a feasible idea for their family.

A post called, “He Wants a Puppy” talks about just this problem that parents are presented with. Sometimes it is the wrong time to get a pet, and a puppy is a lot of responsibility. Explaining it that way to young children might be tough, but having a puppy when their just isn’t somebody to take care of it is the wrong decision.

Don’t Become Filled With Parenting Regret

Parenting is not easy! It is really easy to get caught up in daily problems like getting your child to school or what to make for dinner. The reality is that in the blink of an eye, your child will be leaving for college or joining the work force. Enjoy every small moment that you can. Many parents get caught up in the mundane reality of every day life, and forget to cherish the small moments spent with their child. This seemingly insignificant moments will be things you grow to miss!

A post on A ThankFULL Heart about parenting regret made me think of the idea of this post. The author listed some parenting regrets that you probably wouldn’t expect. Things like not pushing her child on the swing enough and not making cookies together enough made the list. The idea behind this is you are going to miss the smallest things when your child is not longer young enough to be around all the time. Take advantage of them now!

Imperfection is a Part of Life for Parents and Children

“Nobody’s perfect” is a phrase we have all heard before to try and get us to calm down. When we make mistakes it can be really frustrating, and it is easy to get down on yourself. Never forget that imperfection is part of the beauty of life. As parents we are going to make mistakes. As long as you accept your mistakes as a learning experience and move on everything will be okay. If you lose your cool and yell at your child; just make sure that you apologize to them for your actions. You should teach them as they grow that nobody is perfect, and that includes you. You will make mistakes as a parent, and they will also make mistakes as your child. It is all a part of the loving, family relationship that you will develop.

A post titled, “It’s a Good Thing You’re Not Perfect!” gave me the idea to share my thoughts on imperfection in parenting with you. The post talks about how it is a good thing that people are not perfect, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Parenting Standards: Expect Great Things From Your Child and Yourself

As a parent it is crucial to have set standards that you will raise your child with. What you need to keep in mind is that there are two sets of standards that are involved with this ultimate standard of how you are raising your child. The first is the set of standards that you will hold yourself to as a parent. The second is the set of standards that you will grow to expect of your child. The two go hand in hand, you cannot expect a certain behavior from your child if you are not holding up your end of the bargain as a parent.

A post about common core standards for parents made me think of this. The post talked about important goals parents should have. The one that really was important to me was to make school more important than extra-curricular activities for your child. Too many times I have seen parents who do not care about their child’s grades as much as how they did in Friday night’s sport game. This is enabling the child to also not care about their grades.

What are your parenting standards? What do you expect from yourself, and what do you expect from your child?

Parenting Tip: How to Get Your Kids Excited to Do Chores

Nobody likes to do chores. This is a given, and as parents we know how hard it is to convince a child they need to do chores. Thinking of a fun way to get your child excited to do daily tasks is a good idea. Some sort of rewards system could be a great idea. Nothing huge, maybe working out a system where if their chores are done for the day they can play a video game for a half hour or hour. Everybody likes having an incentive to do work.

I read an idea on Mocha Momma about motivating children to do chores, and I thought her idea was just fantastic! She makes little personalized to do clips at her house and hangs them in the kitchen. When a task is completed you move the clip from the “To-Do” side to the “Done” side. It makes doing a task a little more fun, and teaches accountability to your kids.

How do you get your children excited to do chores?