(NC) - Your toddler unfortunately is not catching on too quickly to potty training. Your five-year-old wakes you regularly in the night simply because it's too dark. The family pooch joins in frantically at every disturbance - and now, with school out for March Break, your irrepressible little seven-year-old will try to provoke as much action as possible out of one house.
No matter whether it is mom or dad at home trying to contend with too much noise, too many demands and too much mess, it is important say observers, to establish order where possible and be realistic when you can't. Here are some tips on the subject from a household friend, Welch's Canada, a name long-associated with kids' favourite flavours in fruit juices, jellies and jams:
Look for the humour with a child-rearing mishap. It may seem disastrous at the time, but if you were to tell the incident to a friend, you would surely be telling it with a grin on your face.
Set a routine and communicate it. Kids are more likely to follow the rules and guidelines if they know what they are.
Learn from mishaps. Take a moment to recognize what went wrong and why.
Ask a child to help. Make a game of cleaning up, making beds and putting away toys.
Involve everyone in meal preparation, especially breakfast and lunch. Kids can set the table or prepare kid-friendly foods like cereal, yoghurt and now even a jam sandwich by using a squeezable bottle to spread it instead of a knife. The "squeezable" is Welch's latest innovation for fun and safety in the busy household. Joining Concord Grape in this line, the new Squeezable Strawberry Jam is a hand-size, unbreakable bottle with contoured lines for easy-grip. When you turn it upside down the jam is squeezed from a slit in the cap. But unlike squeezable ketchup the hole in the lid is not a circle, but rather an elongated slit which allows the jam to be placed evenly on toast, bread and baked goods, without the use of a knife.
Relax your neat-and-tidy standards. Concentrate on the parenting quality of your experiences together.