My dear little sister is preggers with her third baby. Now, if you know me or read my blog you know that I believe baby #3 is a killer. You might also know that my sister is in Taiwan at the moment so we can't drink big drinks and eat chicken nuggets together. If we could, she would undoubtedly insist on picking my brain for mom wisdom. No one actually asked for my advice, but I'm giving it anyway. I have been a parent for 10 years, you know--that's a long time! And I have 4 kids and only one selective mute in the bunch. If you like those odds, here's some of my best advice.
Don't worry about preparing children academically for kindergarten.
I can't stress this enough: buy down comforters from Overstock.com and forget about a top sheet.
Don't sign your kids up for things unless they ask you to. You will never regret it.
Don't sign your boys up for gymnastics. It can only lead to two things: The Olympics and/or male cheer leading. ( I don't like those odds.)
I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping your toe nails, I've had good success with this.
Say "No" to Easy Bake Ovens.
When kids are little, buy their clothes whenever. But when they start school have a big shopping trip for school clothes. Well. . . because it's fun.
Teach them to and let them make their own breakfast most of the time.
Try to like what they like. It kind of sucks when it's Yugi-Oh, but the pay-off comes when you're at the premier of The Dark Knight.
Throw away poopy underwear.
Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.
Buy them cheap shoes when they are little. I go back and forth on this one, but I think it's good advice.
Pretend to be a selkie.
Buy them quaint wooden toys and hand-knit stuffed animals if you wish, but don't expect your kids to play with them.
Embrace their quirks.
Get boys' haircuts at barber shops.
Buy kids deodorant before they need it.
Don't beat yourself up about bribery.
Dress up for Halloween.
Don't make birthday parties a huge deal.
Make sure kids know how they like their eggs. There's nothing more humiliating than feeling insecure when ordering at IHOP.
. . . And there's more where that came from. Don't be afraid to ask me for advice. Just don't give me any.