Friday, January 29, 2010

Parenting tips: What have you learned along the way?

At Working (on) Motherhood, Leah mentioned her favorite happy parenting accidents -- you know, the kind of parenting lifesavers you discover when you were trying to do something else. Which led me to start sifting through my own arsenal of tips and tricks learned along the way, and wondering what other parents have learned thanks to their kids.

I have my own lists going, of course. There's my list of things I never thought I'd say as a parent. And my list of things I never thought I'd do as a parent. But far more practical is this list right here: things I've learned as a parent:

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (and their generic counterparts) remove crayon from walls.

Carefully applied brown crayon can mask pen marks on coffee tables.

A couple of coats of Kilz paint can actually cover up permanent marker, even black marker.

Shaving cream can help get ink from a ball-point pen off your upholstery. (How does it work? The ink is soluble in alcohol, and shaving cream -- not gel -- contains alcohol.)

Avoid creating a juice-box fountain by lifting up the corners at the top of the box, and have your child hold the container by the "wings."

Ziti and a length of string make an excellent last-second beading distraction so you can finish cooking dinner. Or writing a blog post, as the case may be.

For more, click over to's Child Caring blog! But first, please add to my parenting tool box: What tips have saved your sanity?

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