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Top Tips / Mum and Dad / Family Life

Top Tip: 10 Things Kids Make Difficult and How To Deal With Them

10 Things Kids Make Difficult and How To Deal With Them


If this then that parenting: If you do this, you can have that.

#1 Eating Vegetables

Broccoli, carrots, cabbage – all good stuff, be creative and disguise it in sauces, pasta, curry, smoothies etc.

#2 Cutting Nails

Nothing worse than a child whipping their hand or foot away just as you are about to trim their nail. Take your time and cut their nails when they are asleep using smartphone torch light.

#3 No Means No

Easy. £2 investment on Amazon for some gold star stickers. Then ‘play’ Yes and No. Build the understanding of Yes and No and reward with a gold star – “Good boy! you learnt no means no, you get a good boy star!”

#4 Going To Bed

You must build a routine. Start quite time 30 minutes before bed. Telly off. iPad off. Nothing loud. Do reading together? Don’t read in your Brian Blessed voice. Just quite, gentle reading. Then get your child to select a ‘special’ bedtime book. You have to build their interest and engagement.

#5 Brushing Teeth

Brush your teeth together and take turns counting whilst brushing your teeth i.e. you all start by brushing your teeth whilst you count to ten, then let your child count to ten as you all continue brushing your teeth. Whip out the gold stars if required.

#6 Doing Homework

Have a set time ever day and do with the children. Not from afar. All at the table. Telly off. Make a big thing of getting the ‘drinks’ ready whilst they get the books ready. A fun joint venture!

#7 Whizzing All Over The Seat (boys)

Though some toilet sets are like guillotines, this worked for me: I printed off a sign I made “Lift seat, wash hands”, I let the kids colour it in and placed it near the toilet where the kids can see it. Because they coloured it in, it’s like a bit of kid programming, they understand a good habit. Public toilets: I don’t let the kids touch anything (if possible). So best aim please, tissue dab the seat after and wash hands.

#8 Washing Hair

I found it’s best to wash their hair as soon as they get in the bath and reassure them they can have an ‘extra’ play after. Squirt some shampoo in their hand and let them start off, add lots of well done’s. Trying to wash hair by interrupting play I think causes problems.

#9 Tantrums

We can never stop tantrums but we can control them by looking at the triggers and patterns. For me, if I am with the kids in any shop that sell toys; I know I am going to have a problem. My cure is to ask one of the shop staff to tell me and the kids ‘I am sorry these toys aren’t for sell anymore’, then I chime with offering to phone ‘Santa’ tonight and see if he has any ideas. Next day I tell the kids I spoke to Santa and he said ‘you need to be good and do this’ or ‘you have been good so we are going to that’. If this then that parenting!

Tantrums over sharing are much trickier. We made a sign ‘Sharing is Caring’ and I ask my children to show their friends how we do share. I have also introduced a Rewards Chart (plus the gold stars!) as I find these are a way to help the kids ‘understand’ that being good is appreciated. Naughtiness is a red star on the Rewards Chart. The naughty step didn’t work for us.

Never berate a child for having a tantrum! Tantrums are just a lack of understanding. No one learns anything from shouting. We all like compliments. So recognise their positive behaviour not just the negative!

#10 Medicine

So I have this problem a lot. Calpol seems to be ok. But some children’s medicine tastes awful. So I look at alternative home remedies. Some of which your children can help you make. Do some searches online i.e. ‘home remedies for ear ache’. Amazes me how many alternatives are out there! FFS don’t follow some hugely complex concoction and risk it on your child. If in any doubt, though, speak to your GP or health professional.


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