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Secret parenting shortcuts that help Wonderparents get through crunch time

Parent Resources

17th August 2019

One of our core priorities at Wonderschool is supporting families—because we know firsthand how difficult it can be to raise a child. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to put in 100% at work, parent flawlessly, run an organized and clean home and also take good care of yourself. The secret is that just about every parent skips or phones it in on one kid-related task for the sake of sanity. So we asked the Wonderschool team, what parenting shortcuts do you take?

“We skip putting pajamas on my 5 year old daughter. She goes from her bath into clean clothes, and then to bed. It was so hard to get her out of the house in the morning that we decided it would be easier to just have her sleep in her clothes for the next day, which she likes doing. Now she feels like she has some control over the situation AND we are skipping a 15-minute battle every morning. Win-win.”
Mia, Wonderschool Head of Early Care and Education

To minimize the amount of times my 7 y/o gets out of bed after bedtime, I allow him to keep his bedside light on and read as much as he wants. He often falls asleep really late, but at least I get some uninterrupted adult time.
Neta, Wonderschool Early Care and Education Mentor

“On the weekdays my kids don’t eat a real breakfast, but a granola bar and Go-GURT in the car. I know that sugary yogurt is bad, but so is not getting enough protein!). It’s hard enough to get them to put their clothes on in the morning without trying to get them to sit down at the table to eat. They would probably just eat cereal anyway, which is just as processed as something they can eat while moving. It has saved our mornings.”
Evie, Wonderschool Content Lead

“Sometimes it saves my sanity to do things myself that I’m ‘supposed’ to be empowering my kid to do herself. I like her to pack her lunch every day for school but sometimes the nights just get too crazy so I have to pack it myself. Also she usually has a Pop Tart or piece of toast in the morning for breakfast, something we can take on the go. She told me the other day that other kids have “real breakfasts” but I literally do not have brain space to cook her breakfast.”
Tess, Wonderschool Partnership Manager

“I sanitized bottles for about six minutes total with my daughter. She is rarely sick. Coincidence?”
Nicki, Wonderschool Early Care and Education Mentor

Raspberries and light-colored upholstery, it’s fine.

“My son has a large drawer at kid height specifically for all his dishes. It’s a gigantic mess since he ends up going in it multiple times a day to get himself a plate or whatever, but at least it stays contained.”
Branden, Wonderschool Product Manager

“We let the older one get some screen time: 1) while making dinner 2) as an incentive for brushing / changing into PJs (he now does this fast and without prompting) 3) when it’s dubbed in Mandarin.”
Albert, Wonderschool Head of Data

“When my daughter went through the painting walls phase we used to tape large sheets of paper on the walls so we wouldn’t worry about the wall and also keep some of the art. When my son went through the same phase paper was not enough, so instead I invested in some paint to use after the phase ended and let him do whatever he wanted to the walls.
Javier, Wonderschool VP of Engineering

“Wash laundry —> dry laundry—> throw clean laundry on couch —> have kid “shop” for clean clothes there —> repeat x infinity.”

“On nights when she outright refuses to sit at the table for a meal I simply feed her in the bathtub…while bathing.”

“We bribe my daughter with candy for poops on the potty. All the potty training books frown upon that but seriously potty training is so hard.”
Jeanne, Wonderschool UX Designer

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Claire Zulkey

Claire Zulkey is a writer in Evanston, IL. She has reported on children, families and education for publications like the New York Times, Parents, and the University of Chicago Magazine