It feels like parenthood is some kind of a compilation of comedy and diplomacy. A parent needs a great sense of humor paired with fresh jokes and tricks ready in his back pocket to make it through the day without damaging someone or something. And of course, calm nerves and strategies of a great politician to make your sweetheart eat, dress up, get ready and so on.
I recently added a couple new weapons to my motherhood armory. I hope sharing them could save someone’s day and sanity.
Trick # 1
Once I overheard a mother of three, tricking her kids to leave the playground with a simple invitation. The only few words she said were: “Let’s race to the car!”. The kids reacted immediately and all ran along with their mom. No whining, no negotiating, no tears.
– Alya, let’s race to the car!
Of course, the answer was no. 🙂 Back then Alya was 2.5 years, and leaving a place she likes was quite a challenge. I won’t lie, it still is. The only thing to make her leave from an exciting area was a more interesting suggestion. Till now. Very recently she actually started liking the racing game. And now it is one of my to go tricks to end up the outdoors activity calmly. In our case, it also works to make Alya go to the bedroom and prepare for a bedtime. We race there. Yes, sounds ridiculous, yet helps me almost every day. I let her win every single time and it works like magic. 🙂
Trick # 2
Timer! I don’t remember using this option of my phone, except maybe very few times during the past years. Now it’s one of my best friends.
– Alya, it’s time to sleep not to play with a humidifier in the dark. I know you like it. Let’s play tomorrow. – that was a daily argument as Alya is extremely excited to watch stars over the ceiling along with naming the change of colors, sing the rainbow song and on and on. But not actually sleep.
Once I said, I’m setting the timer for a minute and as you hear an alarm, that means I turn off the lights. She completely agreed with the deal and the timer rule worked ever since. We set either 1 minute or 5 depending on a situation.
Before figuring out this strategy, I was always amazed how other kids totally understand the 2-3 minute rule prior to leaving the place and completely obey it. In my case, all the warnings have never worked. If I would force her to leave after those few lasts minutes, Alya would burst in tears and make a scene. But now, it’s not me, it’s the timer. And she has no more reasons to bring, she heard the alarm ringing and she gets it better. Less stress for both of us for sure.
I know these tricks will expire one day, but so far I’m enjoying I figured out an easier way to get Alya to do what I want voluntarily.