Updated: Feb 26, 2021
A Cheat-Sheet for Moms and Dads Everywhere
1. Be the Parent
You decide what they eat, where they sleep and when the tantrum is over. No special
kid dinners are necessary. You're allowed to have privacy. And if you need a
teddybear/leash/harness thingy, that's ok. But my husband WILL make fun of you.
2. Think like a Grandpa
There are only 936 Saturdays in one childhood. Don't waste the time. It goes so fast
3. Sell the Ferrari
To do this thing right, you're going to have to give some things up for your kids--
goals, treasures, time, sleep, white carpets, intact vases, pristine walls, your youthful
visage and a bit of your sanity. They're worth it.
4. Right outta' the chute.
My father-in-law is famous for saying that and I agree. Discipline begins more or less
the day they're born. You need to be consistent and you need to start immediately.
5. Good thing they're cute!
Remember that when they're screaming their newborn face off at 2am and then
again when they crush your Damsel Red lipstick all over the new eggshell white
couch. Shame on you for buying a white couch, though.
6. Play the long game
Pace yourself. Not every day needs to be filled with fun and hilarity. Zoo
memberships and park days are essiential, but cleaning out the basement and
washing the car with your kids is time well spent, too.
7. Factor in the Five
You will be tempted to rush and to blame your kids for frazzled mornings and late
arrivals, but it's usually the parents' failure to adequately prepare. Set our clothes,
pack the bags, get up earlier. We like to joke, that with every child you have, add 5
minutes to your late arrival.
8. Leverage Compound Interest
Invest well in that first child. Their good behavior will compound over time and
produce dividends as they watch the youngers, help with chores and set the tone for
behavior. Teach them how to serve and be respectful, to obey and to
calm down. Their example will be a major tool in your toolshed.
9. A minivan will save your life
I can't say this enough. You will never worry about dinged doors
in parking lots again. And should you all go homeless, you can for sure live
comfortably with a family of 6 and room for a pet or a Grandma or one friend.
10. Buy all the Legos
Our basement floor is so littered with Legos, you could literally swim gleefully
through them like Scrooge McDuck. A small fortune was spent on them, as well. But
that's ok because your treasure is where your heart is. It's easy to see who we value
most in this life. Make your kids work really hard, but spoil them, too.
11. Teach a man to fish
Going fishing is fun. Spend as much intentional, outdoor, screenless time with your
kids as possible, but more importantly make them fishers of men. Disciple your
children to Christ. If you get nothing else right, get this right.
What are some of your best parenting hacks? I'd love to hear what works for you!!