Ever find yourself in a difficult situation with your kids that an ounce of prevention could have helped? Thanks to watching and learning from other moms over the years, I have learned some tidbits here and there that have saved me a world of trouble. I’d love to share some of these with you so maybe you can avoid some of the disasters I’ve experienced over the years.
A Bag of Extra Clothes
You never know when there will be a potty accident, clothes will get drenched in water, or someone will slip in the mud. Keeping an extra backpack of clothes in your trunk that at least sort of fit your child can prevent a great deal of discomfort and potentially save your car seats from extra grime. Having an old towel packed in there might help, too.
Small Entertainment Items
When my boys were really small, I kept a box of crayons, a small notebook, and a couple of other small toys in my purse all of the time. Not all restaurants give out items to entertain your kids and these came in handy multiple times. Even now, I keep a deck of cards in my purse. We have used them at restaurants when having to wait a long time, and recently my son was in a competition with a lot of downtime between events. He and his classmates were able to make great use of them even as teenagers.
First Aid Kit
I always kept just a few band-aids and antibiotic cream in my glove compartment until a monumental wipeout at the park. My son was 13, tripped, and bloodied himself in multiple places. Luckily, we were with a friend that came fully prepared. She had large bandages and even a Ziploc bag so we could put ice from the cooler in it. Now I have a kit I bought off of Amazon for less than $10 that has about everything in it you can imagine.
My parenting style involves very little bribery. I am usually more of a “reward after the fact” kind of person. However, when my boys were really little, I kept candy in my purse to coax them into behaving at times. For example, if it’s nearly nap time but you really need to make a stop at the store, it’s great to pull out a sucker and tell them they can have it as long as they can keep it together. Sometimes motherhood is all about survival!
There are times when just a couple of small items won’t do. I kept a small backpack filled with books, coloring books and crayons, travel games/items, small stuffed animals, snacks, etc. in my car to be used when necessary. These are great for the doctor’s/dentist’s office so they don’t play with the germ-laden items there, visiting at a family member’s or friend’s house that isn’t kid-friendly, or anywhere you know you may end up waiting for an extended period of time.
Kids tend to act out when they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (HALT). By using these tips, you just might spare yourself some grief as you navigate the sometimes difficult waters of motherhood. And, if all else fails, give them your phone to play on or watch something to distract them and hold on for dear life. Desperate times often call for desperate measures.