How to get your kids to do stuff

Maybe this is the wrong title for this post, but as it implies, I’ve a list that I’ve meaning to impart for quite some time. I don’t mean for this to be a list of how to get your child to make his bed or do the dishes – it’s more of a list of personal discoveries and victories that I have personally discovered in my job and adventure of being a parent. There’s no rhyme or reason to this list, and I may or may not update it at any given future date.

  • playskool-walk-n-rideHow to help your child develop walking skills: kids are going to learn to walk on their own eventually. For our first child, it was like she was always almost there. In my heart of hearts, I knew there was no reason to rush things along, however I was compelled to give her that little extra umph to help her along. Note: I’m one of those impatient sorts who’ll be quick to say, “Geez!… Here, let me do it for you.” So anyway: get your kid acclimated to putting one foot in front of the other with a Playskool Walk ‘n Ride. It’s a 2-in-1 jobber that acts like a push buggy for when he’s in that pre-toddler phase, and then it’s a little push scooter for when he’s old enough to keep his balance and push around on it as a little car.
  • razor-scooterHow to get your child to ride a bike: get a bike with training wheels. This will help her with the overall function of a bike and the concept of pedaling, steering and braking. Don’t rely on a bike with training wheels to help your child get a sense of balance. For my daughter, the balance came after learning to ride a Razor scooter. The Razor scooter is great because it’s adjustable to any child’s height, and it’s propelled by the child pushing with one of her feet, and therefore maintains a sense of balance and control. You’ll know when your child is getting that sense of balance when she’s going down a small inline, has both feet on the scooter’s base and is genuinely balancing herself. That’s the prime time to take the training wheels off and get her back on the bicycle.
  • magic-bulletThis is more for the parents, but thought it was a useful product tip. Baby food can be expensive. Our youngest is 10-months-old and while she’s beginning to eat soft, solid foods, we still blend/chop/puree some foods for her. Before they were on store shelves, I think you could only get these blenders from informercials. With that said, we use the hell out of our Magic Bullet blender system. It’s not one of those clunky, pitcher-style, eyesore appliances that either sits out on a countertop or takes up room in a cabinet. It’s a small & unobtrusive appliance that stays on our countertop and we use it daily. The best part is that it comes with “mugs” (I think they’re maybe 12 ounce), which are perfect for blending up smaller quantities of foods and liquids. And it comes with a bunch of lids, so you can whip up a strawberry, banana and yogurt smoothie, put a cap on it and put it in the fridge. And, of course, it comes with a pitcher, so if you’re going to make a batch of margaritas, you can do that. I’m notorious for burning up blenders, and surprisingly, the Magic Bullet has endured my abuse and keeps on trucking.
  • things-appAnother tip for parents – you’ve got to stay organized. Our oldest is in first grade now and there are always field trips, school activities, after school activities and reminders-in-general that need to be taken care of. For me personally, I rely heavily on two things: 1) iCal (native calendar that comes with your Mac) for all of our appointments and due dates. 2) Things – a mobile and desktop app to organize your “things” (your to-dos). I use both religiously and daily because I’m always either in front of a computer or have my iPhone on me so I can be reminded of upcoming appointments and events, or have quick and easy access to my to-do list.

That’s it for now. More as I experience parenthood.

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