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Angie Who's "Littlefolk" album is parent-friendly kids folk music. Purchase the album by Sydney based vocalist, mum and wife online now.

Hacks

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Hacks

Hilary Thackway

You may not know this about me, but I used to be a nanny. Which is great because it means I got to practice on other people’s kids before having my own. Does that make me an expert? I don’t think so. The term ‘Parenting Expert’ does baffle me somewhat. 

What does it mean? Has a Parenting Expert successfully raised at least 3 fully functioning humans, who have gone on to be parents themselves? Or has the parenting expert read a lot of papers and books on the topic and practiced theories on other peoples kids?..Like me.

I don’t know, either way, everyone has advice to give when it comes to parenting, and here is mine.

STOP SHOUTING
It is important for little people to learn that effective communication does not require shouting. (Unless one is in the sea being circled by sharks, or even just one shark, then shouting is 110% appropriate.)

I don’t know if you have ever caught yourself screaming the words ‘Stop Shouting/Yelling/Screaming/Fighting!’ at your kids. I know I have, here are my simple solutions:

Get a Megaphone
You don't have to raise your voice if you have a megaphone for home use, you will not be shouting, you can use your calmest, soothing voice and they will hear you! 
(*Parental Megaphones will soon be available through my website)

If you are still waiting for your megaphone to arrive and do find yourself shouting, try and catch yourself early - your options here are:

  1. Quickly turn whatever you are saying into a cabaret song, adding big arms and drama. Your stress will be diffused, the kids will no doubt pay attention, everyone is listening and you’re all having a good time now.
  2. If singing is not your thing, please feel free to switch to a large character, like a dinosaur maybe, a lion or dragon, a bit of quick improvisation. Again, it’s key to catch yourself early and don't forget to 'eat' the kids who aren't behaving.
  3. If you do just need to yell/shout….let it out, just hold that shout long and strong, one note will do, as long as you can hold it, add some vibrato or gibberish if you will.
    Again, your stress is diffused and the kids will not be super sure what is going on for a while, but if you smile at the end…it will be like a little reboot for everyone. Try it with me…AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! See?

THE ART OF SLEEPING IN
I recently discovered this one by accident. 
If you want your small people to sleep in, here’s what to do. Travel somewhere that has a 2 hour time difference to your home town…make sure they are 2 hours BEHIND or this will not work. 

The minute you arrive, change your clocks to the new time zone and do everything as normal, don’t try and adjust their body clocks gradually or anything, stay where you are for at least one week. When you return home, change your clocks back again, they’ll be sleeping in for like 2 hours, you’re gonna love it.

JUST REMEMBER
I know you have a lot of extra work to do since having kids. Your laundry has multiplied with every new arrival, not to mention the snacks and main courses required every single day and each one of those comes with a dish or container to wash. I want you to remember that these people will grow up soon. Start getting your cleaning/cooking/laundry roster template set up now. 
(*Templates will also be available on my website soon, under free printables.)

WATCH THEM
Parenting eh! It’s a tough gig, a jungle, a minefield, but for all the pain, there is so much joy. 
Make sure you spend a moment watching them sleep, those peaceful little faces tucked up in their cosy beds, because when they are bigger you can tell them you used to watch them sleep, and you can make that sound creepy if you need to.

That’s all for now, I'm off for a lie down. Tell me about your best hack?

Angie Who x
'Across everything, on top of nothing.'

*Not true.

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