What a Mess

If you think you see a mess in the room of your child, you might just mistake a higher level order you do not understand for a mess. It might take time until you understand it but you can already get used to it now. :-)

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More than 25 tips which will improve your life

There are actually 26 of them ;-) A few of these tips might be common sense but you will find some of them to be really life changing.
Read them all and let us know which one was the one you liked the most, you needed the most or are already using it with great success!

If you just want to get the one related to your kids and to save time, just skip to tip number 21.
Thanks to Kenneth Dunstan Kundaya for sharing them with us!

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The piano is maybe not the right thing

School and family are two completely different social systems. It is normal that your child will play a completely different role in each one of them.
For example you can have a bright, cooperative and happy child at home while at school your child can be a dictator. Or just the other way around.
Every social system will have its own rules and while some behavioral patterns of your child will show up in most of the social systems some will be tied up to specific environments.
It won’t be any surprise that you might be surprised by what a teacher of your child can tell you about your child.
Things you are familiar with, just as well as those that you won’t recognize at all.

My advice: talk to the teachers and carefully listen to what they say about your child.
Not only can you early detect things that can later develop into something you would not like.
You can also spot talents of your child which normally do not surface in your home environment.
Maybe the piano you had in mind for your child isn’t the right thing considering the amazing pictures she draws at school…

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In the end, great marriages produce great parents

If you think you already know how to play with kids, how can you be a better parent?
Tyler Ward has a great answer.
One of the keys to the great parent in you is very simple. Find out more at 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married by Tyler Ward.

PS: special attention to #3 ;-)

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How to peel 5 apples under 30 seconds – kitchen hacks

Impossible? Here is a way ;-)
How to peel 5 apples under 30 seconds

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Job applicants for World’s Toughest Job get a big shock

This might seem unrelated but I promise you will love the article and the video. First read the job requirements, then watch and enjoy!
Where? Here: Job applicants for World’s Toughest Job get a big shock

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How to cut tomatoes – Kitchen hacks

How and where do you get time to play with your kids?
You can only put this much into one day.
24 hours.
And some of that you have to sleep.
Your time and my time as well is precious.

So… We cannot inflate a day.
But you can get some additional time here and there.

It always takes me a lot of time to cook. I like doing it but I am not a chef and compared to them I am very, very, very slow. Each trick I can learn with respect to quick cooking is welcome.

So is this cool trick with tomatoes. Isn’t it great?

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Don’t try it at home!

don't try it at home photo by Zahra photoCan you play with a newborn? Yes you can. Although, right here a small warning: Your baby is not a toy. You will play with it to satisfy his or her needs not yours.

If you will be playing with it, it is not because you feel like playing with a toy. It is because your baby needs you, your attention and your love.
A normal mother and father will feel affection and the need to share the precious moments with their baby.

It does not really matter if you give your newborn a baby massage, sing to it, count the fingers or change the diapers. The interaction, your voice, the tone of your voice, eye contact, physical contact, all these factors count. The baby knows you are there.
So how can you play with your newborn?
Talking to your baby is a very good start. Singing is also a very good idea.
You don’t have to dance but rhythmical movements can have calming effect.
Offering your thumb to be held by those little fingers can be equally rewarding for both sides.

As the baby grows and starts to recognize things around it you will see opportunities how to discover the world around you in a playful way. Gently swing the toys hanging from the crib carousel. Take the baby to the window, talk about what you see and point at things you are mentioning. Night lights are quite interesting to point to, just as airplanes and with some children cars. Every child is different, though and you will need to figure out what is interesting for your child. Experiment but make sure you are always in safe environment and the baby feels safe. For instance, I would not recommend throwing your baby into the air before it reached about 8 months.

One last comment here: Robin, our reader mentioned that once their baby started to smile, he loved it so much that he would mirror whatever the baby did for some time. But babies are natural gymnasts, don’t try to do what they do. They can do it. You cannot. Very much like a lot of those tricks you see on television with a warning “don’t try this at home”.

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This is it. You won’t hear from me a single word from now on

How to play with kids, talking via third party photo by Zahra photoNo, not me. But you can easily end up in a situation when your child starts hysterically crying or turns “emotionally upset”.
How do you talk to someone who does not want to answer or even listen to you? How do you talk to someone deeply emotionally struck or in pain?

I remember one occasion when our oldest ran for his life to be the first one at the ice cream shop. He tripped halfway between us and the shop and by the time I got to him he was in tears. To late to talk him out of it.

So how to break the waterfalls of tears?
Well, sometimes you can talk to the child and especially when the pain is small the diversion technique from Chris might work.

However, what can you do when talking to the child does not work?
Imagine a situation when your child thinks you caused the (emotional) pain. Whatever the situation or your real contribution, your child looks at you and the words “you are guilty” glare at you from their eyes.
Whether crying or not, the main communication channel can get blocked. What do you do then?

If the “problem is” you, you can say whatever you want. Typically the child will not listen. In the end, why should it listen to someone who is the root cause of the problem? So stop talking.

One of the tactics that we found is working is to use a third party. An authority. Pick the favorite toy of your child, use it as a puppet and pretend it is alive and then simply say whatever you need to say in third person as if the toy says everything you need to tell to the child. Surely some of it will need to be changed, the toy is not you and cannot talk as an adult but the message will get through.

Have another or maybe a better tip? Let us know!

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Kitchen sink nigthmare

How to play with kids - Chocolate by zahra photoOuch, where did that ketchup on your shirt come from?
Honey, you did not have it on your plate! So… oh… I see…
You have been playing with the cutlery while I have been washing your hands. These little cute fingers always find their way when I am washing your other hand.
Oh no, what else did you touch now?
Not that chili thing, no no no!
We are not finished, just stay here and don’t touch anything… please put that fork back in the sink, good boy!

Washing hands of small children can be definitely fun. In the example above at least ironically speaking ;-)

I believe that the clean sink is just a myth. Maybe you can still have a sterile kitchen with one child but with two and more it’s nothing more than a wish.
You are glad they can stand well enough on their own next to the kitchen sink. You are doing everything the fastest you can so that they don’t play with the cutlery or anything else that’s still in the sink.
And that’s exactly what they love to do and will do anything to be able to do it.

Because the tools in the kitchen are soooo interesting. Mom is playing with them all day. Dad is playing with them as well so I want to play with them too.
In the end, my parents would not play with them if it wasn’t so much fun! ;-)

Unfortunately, we see it differently. You want to protect your child and grant no access to sharp tools, you see that knife with the 6 inch blade?
And you want them to stay away from the whatever mess they can reach because you know it will end up all over the living room in just seconds.

So, what can you do?
Well, here is a very simple trick from my wife:
Teach them to rub their hands as soon as you can. It takes TWO hands, you know. ;-)
It’s fun as well, it keeps them busy and they have both hands right in front of your nose in the process.
No time or free curious hands left to play with the mess in the kitchen sink.

If you want to make it even more fun, add a rhyme. For instance “Rub and scrub, rub and scrub, ub and ub, rub and scrub, ub and ub, readyyy!” Or something that makes more sense for you and your child.

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