The Top 10 Tips for Parenting Well…or Well Enough

by Samantha on September 19, 2011

Oprah has a feature in her magazine entitled “what I know for sure.” She also mentions this phrase often, during interviews and previously on her talk show. Oprah is not a parent, so I doubt that she referenced what she knew for sure as it related to kids. Nonetheless, I like the idea of trying to figure out “What I Know For Sure” as it relates to the important things in my life - like my kids.

So here we go. This is what I know for sure: 

The Top 10 Tips For Parenting Well…or Well Enough

1) It won’t kill your kids if they don’t eat vegetables every day.
2) It’s perfectly fine (actually normal, in my opinion) to negotiate with or bribe your kids, if it will make the situation smoother.
3) Pizza, chicken fingers and PB&J encompass all of the food groups you need.

4) Contrary to popular belief, most babies, toddlers and other small children will not get sick because they ate food that fell on the floor.

5) TV is a cheap and easy babysitter. There, I said it.

6) Order in dinner whenever you can. You deserve it and you probably don’t feel like cooking every day.

7) Don’t get too sucked into comparisons of yourself and your parenting abilities with other moms or dads. It is highly likely that they’re outright lying about their perfect lives and kids, or at best, exaggerating the truth.

8) Flossing is gross…and difficult - especially for children between the ages of 0 and 5. It’s okay to skip it sometimes (and if you are a dentist or dental hygienist, I apologize, but please don’t email me to complain about this point).

9) Accept help whenever it presents itself. If a trusted friend or family member offers to babysit, cook or help you clean, allow them to do it.

10) “Good enough” is good enough. You don’t need to be perfect.

I know at this point that I likely sound like the “Slacker Parent of the Year,” and in some ways, that may be true. True if that title means that I don’t even bother to try to live up to unrealistic standards of parenting that many of us moms hold ourselves up to. I did at one time, and realized that I was failing miserably - the perfect mom, I’m not. That said, my kids are clean, well fed and loved, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
What do you know for sure about parenting well…or well enough? Please share!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diane September 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Well said, Samantha. I also know that ultimately kids just want to play, so let them. They don't need to be enrolled in a slew of programs, all by the time they're in kindergarten. I learned that one the expensive way 🙂


2 Samantha September 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Thanks, Diane - Agreed. Parenting doesn't have to be as difficult as we make it sometimes. After all, humans have been parenting for millions of years without the amenities that we've become accustomed to. And they've done just fine.
Thanks for commenting!


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