The best thing about teens and tweens is that they know everything and are unafraid to share their wisdom. My son doesn’t have a lot of thoughts on babies, but if you are struggling with a toddler at home, he has All The Answers. Just ask him.
At age 10, my oldest had lots of ideas about how I should be running things at home. I once told him that I talked to a woman whose three sons do their own laundry from start to finish and the youngest of them was five. He replied, “You know what I wish? That you were less social”
I thought it would be fun to get his take on all matters of parenting, and it was. Luckily, he wrote down his sage advice so that we can benefit from it long after he forgets. He provides a year-by-year guide for parents up to (but not including!) his own age with my notes in the parenthesis.
One-year old: I have no idea.
Two- to three-year olds: They need to have attention but incentives do not work on them. Tone of voice is good but don’t yell. (When explaining this tip to me, he went through a chorus of silly voices that make good motivation for a toddler such as the sing-songy “Time to get our shoes on”)
Four-year olds: This is the kid graduation! He or she is now a kid. He/she can now have gum and play video games. One hour of video games is good (at this age, we limited to 20 minutes, ha!) [Read more…]