10 Parenting Hacks To Help You Keep A Happy Family Life

Parenting can be such a rollercoaster ride. As if being an adult wasn't difficult enough with all of the decision making and routine creating, the weight of the family falls on us and we have to remember everything for every member of the family. We have such a big responsibility that sometimes it can be really daunting so, over the years I have developed some parenting hacks to help me on this journey. Forgive me for the randomness, they are just things I have thought of at the top of my head that if someone asks; how do we ever do this again? I have an answer. Here is a list of some of my parenting hacks;

1. When it comes to food shopping, I find the best thing to do is to shop online. My personal preference is Tesco’s. I choose Tesco’s because every quarter of the year you get Tesco vouchers which can then be exchanged for either fun days out, meals out or it can help contribute towards your next food shop. Even if you don’t do your main shop at Tesco’s, I would recommend still getting a Clubcard and any time you are in a Tesco’s shop you make sure you use it and save up your points. My Tesco Clubcard points have come in so handy in the past for birthday celebrations and meals out with friends or the family. I have used my Clubcard points many a times on the Sea Life Centre and for a lovely dinner out. It's great because when you have a tight budget one month but still want to treat yourself to a day out or a meal, you can remember the vouchers, exchange them very quickly via email and then go out and enjoy them. If you are not already doing this then I highly recommend that you start using Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

I have already mentioned on '8 BIG things in life you need to organise now' blog post that menu planning and food shopping online is the best way to go around getting food for the family in the week. 

This magnetic meal planner is an amazing idea for keeping your menu on the fridge, updating your shopping list as you go along and is reusable week after week. 

2. When it comes to going out for dinner, always do your research beforehand. I usually look into whether the restaurant is going to be child friendly or not. I also will get an idea of the menu and what we will all be ordering before we go. This tends to be the best option, especially if you go out with other people and your children are fussy. You don’t want them to be sat waiting for you to choose for ages, so we tend to check out the menu before we even get there.

3. Tying in with dinner out, I always carry a small backpack out for the boys. Inside this I usually put a bottle of water (their ones from home filled with fresh water) just incase I’m not happy with the sugary drink choices. I also pack a couple of small toys and their own crayons and activity books. If you pick a family friendly restaurant, such as the Harvester or Pizza Hut, you’ll find that they tend to come with activity books anyway but I always find it best to pack a few things anyway to keep them busy. 

These water magic travel books are a great idea. I used to have these to hand on journeys or when we went out and because they weren't being used at home, they were novel and entertained the boys for ages when we were out.

4. I always keep child- friendly adult items in my handbag for when they are playing up. So for example, I have a folding hairbrush which obviously is for adults, but my children used to love opening and closing this when they were toddlers. Pens and napkins are always a good one for a quick draw in a waiting room somewhere. 

5. Follow these 8 BIG things to organise in your life now to make sure that you are tackling those all important adult tasks, which will help to get your family life organised. 

6. Set a homework schedule early on when your child begins school, if you don’t have one then it’s great to begin one. We usually do our homework after snacks, after school. The boys are used to this routine so we don’t get into any battles now getting them to do it, then once it’s done we can enjoy our evenings. We also never do homework on a weekend. Here are 12 tips on how to tackle homework.

7. Set up a reward chart. Then if you or anyone else sees anything random for your child, but you want them to earn it, they can do with a reward chart. For my post on reward charts and if they actually work, click here. 

8. If you’re considering a tablet for your children, the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is great. Two of the winning selling points of this was; they have their own child’s profile on the tablet which you can set a timer for- so once their limit is up, a screen will come up telling them that their time is done for the day. They now no longer have melt downs when they have to come off which is great. The other selling point is that if it gets broken, Amazon replaces it- no questions asked! Which is very reassuring as parents with boisterous boys. 

9. Introduce pocket money when you feel your child is old enough. I have started to introduce pocket money for the boys which they can then spend on something they want. But there’s two ulterior motives to this; firstly to earn the pocket money they have to complete chores for me. My eldest has stripped his bed, loaded up the washing machine, helped tidy and clean and he loves doing it because he knows it helps him to earn his money. Secondly, it’s teaching them that they have to work for their money and that if they want something bigger, they will have to save for it. 

This Children's Chore Chart  is simple but looks great for getting your Child started with regular chores.

10. Always stay one step ahead. For me, the key to staying organised with family life is being ahead of the game every day. Then when things get hectic, I’m not going to fall too far behind. I’ll go into this further in another blog post, but think of what you can do to help yourself out for tonight or tomorrow. Maybe that’s getting uniform and pack ups done the night before or buying cards a month before the birthdays in one go. This is my moto. Stay one step ahead, because you never know what surprises family life will throw at you next. 
10 Parenting Hacks To Help You Keep A Happy Family Life
I'm sure there are loads of parenting hacks that I could write about, because once you're in the swing of family life, it all falls naturally. I will write another post on some simple parenting hacks at a later date, too. What is your go-to parenting hack? What makes life easier for you and your family? Pop a comment below, I would love to hear from you. 

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