Here are some great tips that will help make everyday parenting dilemmas easier to manage.
Does your child suddenly demand your attention - or the phone - when you're busy chatting with a friend? Get your child a toy phone, or give your child an old cell phone that you are not using, and that has no battery, to play with. This may even work better than a toy phone, since some children know what's a toy, and what's the real deal!
Do you want your child to speak politely and mind her manners? Make sure you do the same, especially when speaking with her. Try and think of ways in which you can use words like thank-you and please. For example, you could say, "Can I see your doll, please?" Then return it to her and say, "Thank you." Encourage her to reply with, "You're welcome."
You're out of the house with your baby, shopping at the mall, when your baby starts wailing. It's time for a feed, and she's hungry. One of the best things to do is to take your baby to a changing room at a store and breastfeed her in there. Alternatively, take her to the ladies restroom and feed her there. Many restaurants, large stores and hotels have fairly swanky restrooms with a seating area inside, so you don't need to take her all the way into the cubicle and feed her while sitting on the toilet! If the restroom doesn't have seating, consider the changing room.
Talk to your baby when trying to keep her still when taking her for a haircut, when helping her change her clothes or when changing her diaper. A one way conversation is not enough stimulation for her, so make sure she participates. A great tip is to ask her to point out various parts of her body to you. Ask her where her mouth is, where her ears are, and so on. Also, Sita, mother of 7-month-old Aryan, finds that wind chimes work great. She keeps his changing table by the window, under the wind chimes, and just tinkles them when changing him. He's sufficiently distracted to let her complete the change.
Is your child a fussy eater? Get him a plate with a loud, colourful picture painted on. Cover the picture with your child's food, and let him see how, with every spoonful he puts into his mouth, the picture reveals itself. Let your child understand that he needs to finish his food if he wants to see the picture. Draw his attention to the image, and describe it to him. Ask him to repeat after you. This will keep him sufficiently engrossed, and it's a far better alternative to feeding your child with the television on to distract him.
A great tip for fast food, without actually resorting to fast food, is to cook a whole lot of pasta beforehand, and store it in the freezer, in separate lots. Similarly, puree tomatoes, simmer them with chopped capsicum pieces, and freeze the mixture. When you need to get food ready for your kids in a jiffy, pull out a separate lot of pasta, tomato puree, and cook it along with a few chopped vegetables and cheese. Add fresh basil leaves for added flavour.