As a parent tasked with an all-consuming job and your mind constantly in overdrive, any help that saves you precious time is always welcome. So, here are practical tips to help ease your parenting stress…
1. Snap a family photo whenever you’re out
This could be especially useful for you when the family’s out in a crowded public area like a shopping mall or a theme park. Should your overzealous little explorer get lost, you’ll have an accurate picture of what he looks like.
2. Shoe organisers keep things neat and tidy
From your child’s Lego bricks, toy train tracks to different cleaning supplies, slipping each of these items into the different shoe pockets can help you tidy up almost any mess. Whether it’s a hanging or over the door shoe-holder, it helps to save space and turns any doors in your house into useful storage areas.
3. Have twins? Dot their clothes to tell them apart
Take a permanent or fabric marker and put the corresponding number of dots — example: one dot for the oldest, two for your second child — on the clothing tags, so it’s easier to sort your laundry. Plus, dotting their clothes is less obvious than writing your child’s initials.
4. Invest in an in-car baby mirror
First, get a mirror with an elastic band with an elastic that you can slip onto the headrest of the passenger seat. Your baby’s reflection should keep him occupied during the trip and knowing he’s safe and secure will give you peace of mind. The mirror can easily be remove once baby’s older.
5. Buying shoes? Trace your child’s feet
It can get quite tedious pleading with your little one to try on different shoes over and over again. So, save yourself from all that misery by tracing their feet onto blank pieces of paper. This way, you can shop for their shoes in peace.
6. Turn chores into games
Take some coloured tape and stick it around the borders of your floor tile in a shape of a square, do another for yourself and challenge your child to a sweep-off! The person who manages to sweep as much dirt and dust into the square gets a small reward. Turning a chore into a game can motivate your preschooler to take the initiative to complete tasks around the house. Get your child to start helping out when they’re young and it’ll soon become a habit.
7. Prevent your child from accidentally locking himself in
Loop a rubber band over the front door knob and twist it so that it forms an “X” over the latch, then loop the other end to the back door knob. This way, your little ones won’t be able to lock themselves in.
8. Restrict the amount of soap he uses
After your child has discovered the appeal of a bubble bath, there’s no turning back. So, curb your kiddo’s excessive use, unless you want to splurge on soap every other week. Here’s another use for those trusty little rubber bands ― loop them several times around the neck of your soap bottles ― it’ll help you reduce the amount of soap your child dispenses every time he pumps.
Seven more save-time strategies coming right up…
9. Use toothpaste to remove marker stains
Horrified at the squiggly permanent marker stains on various surfaces around your home? Squeeze some toothpaste on these stains, then clean off with a clean towel. Voilà! No more stains!
10. Prevent stains caused by ice-cream drips
Sucking on an ice-cold popsicle will cool even the most agitated tot in our hot, humid weather. Just be sure to first pop the ice-cream stick through the base of a disposable cupcake liner or through the hole of an upturned disposable coffee cup lid to collect any drips. Simply throw both away once he’s done eating ― no mess and hassle-free, too!
11. Skip guessing what junior wants for Christmas
Shopping with your brood can be tiresome, especially if you pass a toy store. To keep them from bugging you endlessly to buy toys, tell them that you’ll snap a photo of that toy and send this Christmas wishlist to Santa on their behalf. This way, you’ll never run out of gift ideas!
12. Colour the clock’s face to teach them about time
Besides being a good method to prep your child for Primary school, this hack ensures your child make better use of his time and keeps to his daily routine. Say your child’s nightly schedule reads like this: From 5pm to 6pm, its dinner time, 6pm to 7pm could be rest and a quick shower, 7pm to 9pm is homework time and so on. Pick a variety of markers in different colours and shade out areas on the clock face to mark out when the different activities should take place. That way junior has no excuse for forgetting or not knowing what he should be doing every day.
13. Use an oversized old T-shirt as a bib
Parents of active toddlers know this for a fact: Conventional bibs do little to prevent the damage done by food stains on your little one’s clothes. So cut the T-shirt to size and slip it over your child’s head during mealtime and take it off when the meal is over, or store it away in a plastic bag to wash later if you’re out and about.
14. Paint the keys a different colour to differentiate them
If the keys to your door and gate look similar, grab a small tub of metallic paint in a variety of colours from the neighbourhood hardware store and brush each of your keys in a different colour. You no longer have to spend precious time fishing for the right key to unlock your door and gate.
15. Plastic cups can shield your little one’s hands from sparklers
Chinese New Year is usually the time for your kids to play with sparklers and your curious tot will bug you to let him join in the fun. Protect his delicate hands from sparks by inserting the sparklers through the base of a disposable cup and placing his hand through the brim of the cup.
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