10 Top Parenting Hacks if You Can Only Pick One All-Time Favorite

Krystal DeVille

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You want to give your kids the upbringing of a lifetime, but knowing the right way to do it can be challenging.

Amidst many paths to responsible and rewarding parenthood, choice approaches to grooming a child vary from parent to parent. Most parents, however, agree that plenty of parenting hacks land you the safety net. 

1. Pick Your Battles

Parents have to choose their battles wisely regarding discipline and enforcing rules. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and react to everything your child does wrong, which could result in an unnecessary power struggle.

Many users cite this method as their go-to strategy for dealing with difficult situations. The first user adds, “I try to ask myself if this will matter in five years. If the answer is no, I let it go.” Another admits, “If it’s not a safety issue or something that will cause lasting harm, then it’s probably not worth getting upset about.”

2. Empathy and Validation for Emotional Support

Empathy and validation for emotional support is the go-to approach for one parent. He believes listening to and validating children’s emotions is essential, even if we don’t necessarily agree with them. Another commenter suggests using empathy to de-escalate conflicts and help children feel heard and understood.

3. 5-Minute Tidy

The “5-minute tidy” method is the preferential hack for one parent. It involves setting a timer for 5 minutes and having your child clean up as much as they can within that time.

This is particularly useful for young children who need help with cleaning tasks or become easily distracted. Many parents on this thread have found this hack effective in getting their children to clean up their toys, clothes, and other items around the house.

4. Consistency Is Key

May users emphasize the importance of being consistent with parenting methods. For example, one user writes, “Being consistent with discipline, rules, and expectations. Kids thrive on routine and knowing what to expect.”

Consistency can provide a sense of stability and predictability for children, which can help them feel more secure and confident. It also helps children understand that there are consequences for their actions and that they can trust their parents to follow through on their word.

5. Give Choices, Not Commands 

“Give choices, not commands, as this is an all-time favorite childrearing hack,” a user retorts. This involves giving children a sense of autonomy and control over their choices, which can reduce power struggles and increase cooperation.

Another user adds, “For example, instead of telling a child to put on their shoes, a parent could offer choices such as, “Would you like to wear your sneakers?” By giving children the power to make decisions within boundaries set by the parent, children are more likely to comply and feel respected.

6. Use Positive Reinforcement

Several users suggested using positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior in children. One explains that parents can focus on praising and rewarding bad behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. They referenced a specific comment from another user who suggested using a reward chart to track and acknowledge positive actions. 

7. Lead by Example

“Lead by example.” Here, the commenter argues that children learn by observing their parents’ behavior and attitudes, and as such, parents must model positive behaviors and values.

Other users in the thread echo the sentiment that modeling behavior is essential in parenting. They suggest that parents should strive to be kind, patient, and respectful in their interactions with their children and others, as these behaviors will help to instill these qualities in their children. 

8. Practice Active Listening

Several moms emphasized the importance of active listening in parenting. One highlighted that active listening involves hearing the words and paying attention to the emotions behind them.

They suggested that parents practice empathy and try to understand their child’s perspective by putting themselves in their shoes. A final user suggested active listening can help build trust and strengthen relationships between parents and their children.

9. Set Realistic Expectations

One user suggested that the most important hack is “setting realistic expectations,” explaining that parenting could be difficult and it’s essential to recognize that no child is perfect. They emphasized the need to be kind to oneself and not to put too much pressure to be an ideal parent. Instead, they suggested that parents strive to do their best and always be available for their children. 

10. Make It a Race

Finally, a mom shares her favorite hack is to make everything a race. Who can get their shoes on the quickest? Whoever makes it to the car first wins! She insists it makes things go quicker and more smoothly and adds fun to the day.

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