Friday, June 3, 2011

Tricks of the Trade – A handful for your common sense pleasure

Trick #11: Glow stick in the bath
Bust out glow sticks in the bath! I don’t know about you, but come evening bedtime routine, Cooper will often rear his ugly head, “kicking and screaming” about bedtime. However, if we make it fun, things to much more smoothly! So, one thing we’ve done is used a glow stick in the bath. And added hint! If you keep it in the fridge, it will keep it’s “glow” longer. =)
Trick #12: “Travel” to their bed or crib
Also bedtime related…part of our bedtime routine is to read a book and pray in a rocking chair in his room. Again, we hit a stage where he would start crying the second this routine was over because he didn’t want to get in bed.
So, we began coming up with creative ways for him to “travel” to bed. I think it started out with him going super high on daddy’s shoulders, then he went like a rocket ship…countdown and all until blast off! We’ve graduated to more advanced modes of travel such as a submarine (holding him flat, dinging like the radar sound and lifting him up and down like a periscope), an airplane (also holding him flat, but flying him through the air in circles before landing on the tarmac – aka: bed), a UFO (swirling around with him in our arms cross legged making the sound a UFO might make…you know the sound!) and a cannon ball (complete with captain shouting orders, “Ready, aim, fire” – and Cooper balls up and is shot into his crib). Let me know if you can think of any other creative “modes of travel”. Cooper likes to choose each night. It makes it more fun for us as well! Puts a smile on all of our faces. =)
Trick #13: Give them choices
This is a Love and Logic tip that has helped me tremendously. Essentially, offer your child choices. For example, Cooper chooses whether he wants his froggy, birdy, McQueen or Thomas bowl to eat out of in the morning. It helps them with decision making, helps them feel like they have a certain level of control in their lives, as well as teaches them about expectations. Last night, I gave Cooper two choices of pajamas, he wanted a different pair (that may or may not have been in the dirty clothes). I simply said, “That wasn’t one of the choices.” It often times feels like it takes the “bad guy” label off of me. If you’re upset, tough luck…you still had a choice.
The “freedom” part for them is super important. It not only gives you control over the situation (you’re the one picking the two choices), but it also helps them approach situations they might otherwise “fight” much more readily. Another example, getting into the car. How many times has your child not wanted to get in the car? If I ask him whether he wants to get in on the driver side or passenger side, he enjoys making the choice and does it (often, not always) without complaining. The examples for this could go on and on…
  • Do you want eggs or cereal for breakfast?
  • Do you want to watch Curious George or Cat in the Hat?
  • Do you want to sit in a high chair or a booster seat?
  • Do you want to play with bubbles or play-doh?
See…the options are limitless! Just don’t go overboard, then they’ll want to make a choice on EVERYTHING. At the end of the day, mom is still in charge! =)
Trick #14: Bath & BodyWorks Car Scents
Cue the hallelujah chorus! Some of you might be fantastic at keeping your cars clean (like my neighbor…sorry, Alissa, you may never get to ride in my car, hehe). Not me!! I’m forever wiping spoiled milk off the car door, or throwing out stale goldfish or rock hard raisins. Hooray for the discovery of scentportables:Pomegranate Lemonade SCENTPORTABLE® Refill - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works
They clip on your air conditioning vent and each time you turn the heat/air on, you get a blast of yummy smell! Not too strong, not too subtle…perfect! And they last quite awhile! Masks the stench of spoiled milk in a beautiful way. =)
Trick #15: Puke Blanket Trail
THANK GOD I have not had to use this tip YET. But, I’m storing it away for when the time comes. When the stomach bug hits your house, a friend suggested lining the floor between your child’s bed (or the couch or wherever they’re lying passed out due to illness) with old towels or blankets that are designated for this purpose alone! Saves your floors and would make clean-up much easier (ESPECIALLY if you’re like my poor brother, blessed with a tremendously strong gag reflex).
UPDATE: We FINALLY had our chance to use this trick. Yup, we made it nearly 4 years without puke. Wow, have we lucked out or what?! Anywho...we did it. And it certainly helped. Here's photo evidence for you...(that's my hubby laying on the bed with him =( )
Hope these tricks are helpful! Click the "Tricks of the Trade" label in the upper right to access all of them, There are 15 so far!

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