Being a parent to your child is a unique experience, but it is also a huge task, and a giant responsibility. And along with the love you feel for your little one, you are also likely to feel tired, sleepless and frustrated and that’s okay too. However, you need not always feel this way.
There are ways that you can make parenting easier for you, and fun for the whole family. Parenting need not always be the huge, serious task it is - it can be light, fun and easy. You can turn every lesson you teach your kids into an opportunity to form a bond of friendship and trust with them.
Here are some things you can try to make parenting easier and less stressful for you as well as your family:
1. Make chores a game
Chores are boring and monotonous, but giving your kids responsibility at a young age is a good way to start. But you don’t have to keep the chores boring. Make them feel like cleaning up their toys could be a game - ask them how fast they can put all the toys back in their place - start a timer. You could also give them tasks like watering the small plants - which are not that boring after all. You could then tell them how their plants have grown thanks to their efforts.
Homework too, can be made a game - try explaining things to your kid using real-life examples rather than simply getting answers written. Your kid will also develop some curiosity.
2. Ask them to help you cook!
Children are fussy eaters. Whether it’s not finishing their meal, or leaving the veggies on the plate untouched, you can try fixing this, by involving them when you make the meal, especially dinner, which all of you can eat together as a family. So give your kids simple tasks like passing the vegetables to you while you’re cooking, or laying the table. That way, you can tell them that the food that they cooked should all be finished and none left behind.
3. Reward them with activities, not things
It’s good to reward your kids for good behaviour or for doing tasks you ask them to. You may be giving them a chocolate in return for eating their veggies or cleaning their room. Instead, you should use other ideas - it helps them understand that there will be tasks in their life that don’t always have a material reward. It will also make them more likely to do certain things by themselves.
You can promise to let them play for a little longer (5 or 10 minutes) in exchange for cleaning all the toys up later, or allowing them to do something they have planned or wanted to, if they behave well for the period that you decide for them.
4. Join the mess
Yes, it is normal to feel annoyed when your kids make an absolute mess. But sometimes, show your kids that they don’t have to keep their mischief a secret - join in their messy activities. If your child has rubbed your lipstick all over their face and the floor and mirror, take a picture.
Of course, since you also have a mess to clean, make clean-up like playtime, telling them how to clean up and challenging them to see if they can clean up as fast as you can. Eventually, these activities will become less frequent and your kids will not fear you when they make mistakes.
5. Make Shopping Less Tedious
Shopping can bore kids, and make them cranky. Make sure before you step out that your kid is fed, so that the hunger doesn’t make him cranky. Also ensure that he goes to the washroom before you leave - the last thing you want to worry about is finding restrooms in a crowded shopping place. In case they throw a tantrum, it helps to ignore their calls for attention. You can also involve them in the grocery shopping tasks, telling them to find items for you, or help you put them in the cart.
6. Share Your Responsibilities
Both parents can be equally involved in raising children. It cannot be a one-person task. Involve your partner. Don’t fix these roles either. Switch them up every week, so that each of you is good at all the tasks, and it also avoids you from being bored or overly exhausted at the end of the day.
At the end of the day, parenting isn’t all easy, but remember that it isn’t always a struggle either. You’re always going to love your children, and that counts a big deal towards raising them well. Remember to have some fun while you run after your little ones. Your choices now are going to be their memories, so make sure to leave them with the best memories of you!