You should only buy organic food.
You must breastfeed or your child won’t live past 30.
You should always lift your baby when he cries or he’ll grow up with a subconscious sense of abandonment and suffer depression as an adult.
You should never lift your baby when he cries or he’ll grow up to be a spoilt control freak who thinks the world revolves around him and everyone will hate him.
Sod the advice. Just do your best and try not to strangle them before they’re old enough to leave home.
Here are a few of my tips:
1. Always offer children a choice at mealtimes. It’s the least they deserve, especially if they are fussy eaters. I always offer mine at least two alternatives.
‘Would you like an omelette or rehydrated octopus casserole?’
‘Fish fingers or vindaloo prawn curry?’
‘Chicken nuggets or shredded jellyfish?’
The second option doesn’t have to be available, just offered (unless you have that rare breed of child, The Adventurous Eater. I have heard they exist). The choice focuses their fussy little minds quite nicely I find. If they don’t recognise the second option, I let them smell some fish sauce and tell them that’s what it’s made from. Every little helps with the dinner time battle.
‘You’ve only eaten half a fish finger and 3 peas. Will I go get the squid stew instead?’
You get the drift.
2. Play hide and seek with your children. This is apparently beneficial to their development. When it’s your turn to be the seeker, you will usually have time for a cup of tea in peace while they wait patiently and quietly in the wardrobe. You get bonus time if you shout ‘I’m coming to find you’ every now and then. Maybe between biscuits?
3. Eh, that’s pretty much it. I have no other advice to offer. Except not to feel bad about sending your children to school in coats covered in mud. I’ve done it several times and after the first time, it gets easier. You lower your standards. You learn to pretend the ‘rolling on the ground’ incident happened on the way to school, rather than at lunchtime the previous day and you forgot to wash the coat until it was too late. Or just buy brown coats.
Everyday red and brown school wear.
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