When I started this little blog over 2 years ago I had one key rule about the content. No parenting advice. There are thousands of those things out there, and quite frankly most of them are garbage. I instead chose to focus on seeing things through my point of view and sharing with you a bit of imagination that runs through my head daily on this journey.
So for 2 years I’ve stuck to this rule. I’ve been asked, begged, and held hostage for 48 hours in a third world bunker to give my parenting advice. I always say no, what do I have to offer, I am seriously just making this up as I go.
The other day I was sitting at lunch and overheard a conversation a girl was having about keeping a goldfish alive. Apparently she was on around her 47th, give or take a few. It got me to thinking, I’ve kept this little goldfish alive for almost a year now. That is pretty impressive.
Then I get a notice the other day when I went on Klout to claim my free honey tea perk. I got a notification saying I am influential in parenting. Those of you know Klout know that it is basically the standard on how influential you are, so this must mean something.
So for a one time rule break, I’ve decided to give you guys my 5 tips on being a successful parent. My wife leaves me home alone with the girl every other weekend, which honestly is the only time this girl is treated well. So I decided to document my 5 tips with photos from our day to illustrate. Click on any of the photos for a bigger version.
1) Give your child a bottle when she needs it, two if she wants it. Seriously, they tell you when they are thirsty and hungry. Pay attention to your child. Give them a little extra if they ask. Pediatricians recommend that you start weaning the bottle around the year mark. I find a red solo cup makes for a smooth and easy transition.
*Note, it is just IBC rootbeer, what sort of dad do you think I am?
*Extra tip: Real food is occasionally good too. I typically set my left overs in the floor for the dog and the girl to share. She appreciates it.
2) Show your child the importance of reading, but don’t forget to change them after. Reading is one of the most important lessons to instill in a child. I didn’t become a genius by sitting around watching movies. Find common times to read to your child and have her read herself. Some of you choose bedtime, Ava thinks reading is so exciting though she would never go to sleep. Instead I wait until I see her grunting a bit and hand her a mag and throw her on the toilet. She loves to read Soiree and Wired fyi. As an added bonus she should be potty trained early.
*Extra tip: Don’t flush the diaper, it seriously will not go down.
3) Play games with your child. Children have a deep and vivid imagination. Why suppress that imagination with stupid games like peek-a-boo or patty cake? Instead Ava and I set down and play video games together. Everything from NCAA Football to Halo, she especially loves it when I make the level all rockets. Grant it she is completely awful, I beat her at least 7 out or 10 times, but think of the imagination cultivated from blowing up aliens or taking the Razorbacks to a BCS championship (neither will ever happen).
*Extra tip: Don’t play the old school games from your youth. Your child will grow up thinking you are lame. Only modern games.
4) Teach your child everything you know. Think about it, I have 28 years of learning experience on this little girl. I could let her struggle through life down the same path or I can get started now on sharing all the knowledge I’ve learned. So every afternoon we go through my undergrad and graduate courses. Be sure to give rewards when they do well. I for instance give her supper every time she correctly intercultural communication models or can name all 44 presidents in order. Think how much smarter she will be when those children whose parents don’t love them are learning their ABC’s in pre-school and mine is calculating super string theory.
*Extra tip: Don’t get too frustrated when they do not get it right away. Their brains are small, it takes a couple of lessons to learn quantum physics, which is still about 100 less than it took the mom to learn it.
5) Kids stink, show them you love them by bathing them regularly. Finally, after a long day your kid gets dirty. So do their clothes. I find it a nice way to wind down the day in bathing the girl. She loves the soap bubbles and how the washing machine makes her go round and round. Most of the time she throws a fit when we go to get her out. She could play all night. It is a great way to show your child you love them by taking care of needs beyond what is basic. For an added bonus just leave their clothes on, takes care of the chore of washing them later.
*Extra tip: Try to gentle cycle. I find the normal or heavy duty makes her throw up sometimes if she recently ate.
*Note, I do not take any responsibility for harm to either your child or washing machine as a result of following my advice.
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