1. Always have a battle plan. I.E. Pick your battles.What’s more important to you? Bed time? Picking up that land mine of Lego’s? Or having your child clean and well dressed? You can only pick two in any given hectic day.
2. Have several different strategies in mind for getting a shower or going to the bathroom.
3. Don’t be afraid to call for additional troops in times of dire peril. Example: You haven’t had real sleep in the last three days and your house looks like the pit of despair.
4. Never Surrender. At least not without consulting the following formula. Lack of sleep + plus desire to go back to sleep = equals lack of willpower about not letting your child/children sleep in your bed. (Again)
5. Know your foe. Enemies lurk around every corner. Make sure your always prepared to defend, protect and advocate for your child.
6. Negotations grow more complicated as your children age. It starts out simply enough with rewards of dessert or candy. But before you know it, it turns into concert tickets for a boy band. GAH!
7. Remember your position of authority. You are the General. Your child is the solider. Someone has to enforce a code of conduct. If you don’t, your children will write and follow their own. (A general is not a crusty old grump that goes around disparaging everyone around him or her. They are simply the person who provides direction, makes hard choices, and fights for the good of all rather than the good of the one. Sounds exactly like a parent to me!)
*This post was inspired by a conversation with my good friend Whitney T and the unconquerable Kernal Ken.*