12 Survival Tips For Parents In 2017

MIM Contributor

Sur-vive: – [ser-vahyv] verb; To stay alive or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence – Free Online Dictionary. Parenting is like driving at full speed and multitasking while everything else becomes increasingly unpredictable; from mother nature to job expectations even down to family members. Here are some survival tips to make sure you as parents remains healthy, happy, and unaffected’ regardless.

Tip #1: Number 1
Take care of number One –yourself! You have to keep your eyes on your health and this means eating the right food at the right time, exercising, bonding or spending time with family members and resting. Do NOT mistake resting for recreational activities or quality time spent with the family. The latter can be spiritually and mentally refreshing and physically exhausting at the same.

Tip #2: A Second Look
In your daily routine, do you wake up early and run around getting the kids ready for school/ getting ready for work, run around getting work done, run home to run around preparing dinner, fall asleep exhausted only to wake up early and resume running around again? I don’t think that even Hussein Bolt’s daily schedule involves so much running. Plan your time well. For example use the weekend to plan out the week’s menu, your clothes and the children’s for the week. See if this doesn’t free up some time for taking care of number One and all the others.

Tip #3: The Third Party
Gradually get your children involved in housekeeping chores. Teach them to be responsible by running errands around and outside the house, such as taking the trash out, doing the dishes, sweep and mop the floor as well as tiding up their environment. Apart from arming them with life skills, this will give you some relief.

Tip #4: The 4 Lettered word
Show yourselves LOVE, plenty of love and commitment. If you’re a single parent, show your own parents love. Show the young ones love too. Smile brightly in spite of mishaps; be generous with hugs and try, as hard as it may seem, to apologize when you lose it and bare your primal fangs. You will be setting examples that will echo throughout your children’s life and thought processes, reducing the stress of deviant, anti-social behavior. You don’t want to be breeding the social predators you should be protecting them from.

Tip #5: Keep Hope Alive
Build a spiritual foundation for your family. As a father, the onus rests on your shoulder, whether single or married. That is not to absolve single mothers from this responsibility. Of course that means you have to practice being spiritual yourself. Let God be at the centre of your family, study scripture, meditate and pray with the family. According to Dr. Harlina, “…spiritual health is as important (if not more) as physical, mental & emotional health.” You will be giving yourself and your children something to fall back on in overwhelming situations, when all else has failed.

Tip #6: Get in the Mix
Let down your hair and be social. Hook up with the right cycle of friends where you can draw strengths from each other. One cannot over-emphasize the benefits of having a social networking group where you can make great friends and learn great tips.

Tip #7: Get Paid Help/Cook
I guess this tip should have come under Tip #2. Spend some time during the weekend to plan and/or prepare the meals for the coming week. On the other hand, you can get hired help. This will buy you some quality time to rest or spend with your family. Don’t try to be a super mom with cooking, helping with the children’s homework, working, doing school runs, and doing the laundry, not forgetting your husband’s needs.

Tip #8: Get Intimate
Make plenty of love with your spouse, as this will help you relax a lot. In addition, taking time to have intimate and intellectual discussions with each other may help you reconnect and ease the negativity in your marriage. It may also help provide clarity to disturbing differences.

Tip #9:  Draw the Line
Be disciplined; learn to say ‘no’ and mean it, to your kids and yes, to yourself. Trust your heart and draw the line when you see that indulgence is becoming a habit with negative effects. When your kids want to spend more time watching TV, when they want to go to every other party or hang-out and when they want more sweets or toys (this probably applies to you too), say a firm ‘No’ and resist the guilt or urge to go back on your decision.

Tip #10: Count to Ten
When you find yourself in a situation that’s bringing you close to losing your temper, whether at home, in the office or on the street, try and take a deep breath and count to ten. Yeah, it may seem like a stupid thing to do when your kid, colleague or a stranger steps on your new suede shoes. Try to pause and tell yourself that it could have been worse. Life still goes on, finally! You might just be saving yourself from high blood pressure, a damaged relationship or unnecessary altercations.

Tip #11: Emm…Help
Get help or support when you’re tired or at a loss. Call up your mom, dad, friend or colleague. Keep in touch with other parents so that you could have a fresh perspective and exchange helpful ideas. Of course, you should also ask your husband or wife for help. In fact, they should be the first port of call. Surviving parents know that, like most things in life, you can’t do it alone.

Tip #12: Thanks for Everything
Showing gratitude for anything causes a multiplied boomerang effect. It wouldn’t take so much time to say, ‘Thank you’ to God for every new day and the little joys he gives throughout the day. It would also work wonders if you show your spouse and even the kids that you are grateful for those seemingly insignificant things they do. Be assured that they’ll be looking for more opportunities to bless you with some goodness.

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