Life can be as messy as a stinky diaper

high tech diaper pailIn the early stages of parenting, a stinky diaper is the worst thing that can happen. As your kids get older, other stinky things occur.

  • You’re not quite sure if the friend your child is hanging with is a good influence.
  • You’ve overcommitted and now you and your spouse are supposed to be at four different events at the same time.
  • You’ve stretched the checking account so far you could make a lethal slingshot out of it.

Yes, life gets complicated and smelly. You change one set of problems for another. But take heart in knowing all these problems are temporary. Stinky diapers, full calendars and rubbery checkbooks eventually fade away.

Seven keys to tell if you’re pushing your kids too hard

Cartoon of someone stuck in a tree. A swing is moving. A guy below shouts, "Am I pushing too hard?"

There’s plenty of pressure when it comes to being the perfect parent. If you’re not having your kid involved in that sport, she’s missing out, right? What about the science fair? And then you must be sure every minute is filled with meaningful activities, right? How do you know when you’ve pushed your child too far?

  1. In kindergarten, your child has participated in enough sports to earn his letter jacket.
  2. When you watch a movie together, your child whines, “You won’t make me write a review about this, will you?
  3. Your Twitter followers complain they haven’t received a recent update about your soccer mom exploits.
  4. You look into getting your child a special license so she can drive herself to softball practice.
  5. Your kids refer to the playground as a basic training obstacle course.
  6. Your family sits  down for dinner and your child asks why everyone is eating at his study desk.
  7. Your child’s science fair project attracts the attention of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There is a lot of pressure to measure up. There is even more pressure to make sure your child isn’t missing out on something. Parents, relax a little! You and the kids need some down time. If they’re involved in too many activities, kids will begin to think they can never measure up to expectations.

Kids need downtime in order to be kids. They’ll have to compete as adults soon enough. Let them have a little of their childhood back! It will give you a chance to exhale too.

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Should you change or replace the whole thing?

Cartoon of a dad and a baby at a chancing table. The dad says, "We have a dirty diaper! Instead of changing it, should I just replace it?

Change is difficult even if it smells like a dirty diaper. A baby brings a lot of change into a family. And you can be sure the baby will be changing through the course of his lifetime. Before you know it, they’re off to school, graduating and having babies of their own.

When things get hard, it’s tempting to just scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. There are times when that may even be the best course. But when it comes to children, keep going! You may need to make some changes, but stay the course.

I would still advise you to replace the entire diaper, though.

 

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What will kids be like in 100 years?

My youngest child with be eighteen years-old in a few weeks. That has me thinking about the future. Today’s kids have electronic gadgets I would have never dreamed about when my brother and I were playing Star Trek in our dad’s old pickup truck. It never ended well for our dad. When we pushed the old Chevy into warp speed, we frequently flooded the engine.

My brother and I where sure we’d have flying cars when we were adults. Yes, we’re still waiting on that one. Now that I have driven for thirty years, I realize, flying vehicles in the hands of some people would be quite the disaster. But driverless cars? Who but Google would’ve though about that?

Will my great grandkids see Star Trek type technology in their life time? Will they grab a snack from a 3D printer? Will Google still be around or will they think of Internet search engines the same way we look at Model T Fords?

Here are my predictions for what kids will be like in the year 2114:

  • Kids will still need a loving home
  • Kids will still need boundaries and they will test them
  • Kids will take the newest, most well-designed gadget and find a way to break it.

We may not be able to predict all the circumstances our descendants will face in one hundred years, but we can be sure kids will still be kids, and good parents and teachers will be sorely needed.

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Why is it so hard to find a good babysitter?

Cartoon of two teen girls

 

It can be quite difficult to find a good babysitter. You want someone who is good with kids, but doesn’t act like one of the kids. At least, you don’t want to wonder if the babysitter needs a babysitter to watch her and the kids!

You want someone who takes initiative and maybe has some activities for the kids. But you don’t want someone who leaves a mess. You don’t want to vacuum glitter for the next forty days and forty nights!

You want someone who will be in charge, but you don’t want someone who will act like a prison guard. At the same time, you don’t want someone so mousey that the kids take over and your home becomes a scene from Lord of the Flies.

How can you find a good babysitter? Here are some tips that worked for our family.

  • If you attend a church, religious institution or a social club, ask around. A church usually has a youth group. It doesn’t hurt to ask the youth pastor and get to know an available student.
  • Form a co-op with friends that have kids your age. You can either use the network to find qualified babysitters or parents can take turns watching everyone’s kids while the other couples go out.

While this may make things more difficult, please use background checks. Careforhire.com has good tips on how to conduct a background check and what are appropriate and inappropriate ways to do it.

Best of luck!

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