This comment on my Facebook page earlier this week made me laugh (and cry a little bit) because it was so relatable. Oh, the things we wish we could change about parenting our kids when they were younger--like ever teaching them how to whistle.
But come on, now! Chin up! I know I must have taught the kids some good things, too! It actually wasn't hard to think of five habits I'm really glad I instilled in my children early enough on that it became their norm. I would highly recommend any of the following to new parents:
1. Give them a promise of screen time before school if they can get ready on time. This still works as an incentive for my 9, 11 and 13 year olds every morning, even if they literally only end up with 30 seconds of screen time (basically is enough time to turn Netflix on and then off again, but hey, whatever works!)
2. Make them do a chore in the morning before said maybe-only-30-seconds of screen time. Every school day morning, I hear, "Mom, what's my job?" and it is music to my ears.
3. Drink lots of water.
4. Not leave their rooms until 7:30 in the morning EVEN ON CHRISTMAS AND EASTER. We are really mean. But our kids have grown up this way and never really questioned it . . . so score one for Mom and Dad!
5. In a two-parent family, establish which adult to go to for which sort of homework help. I've taught my kids go to Dad for help with math. I don't even have to feel guilty that I'm perpetuating a "girls are bad at math" stereotype because as a former math teacher, their father is the obvious go-to guy.