What parenting tip do you swear by?
I don't have kids yet, but there are some things that will drive me crazy about other people's kids… Please give your children vegetables when they are toddlers! I hate to hear parents talk about how their kids don't eat and in the same breath they are talking about how they don't cook for them, the kids will have a microwave kids meal, easy mac or some other processed sliver of nutrition. My mom cooked dinner just about every night and we ate it. There wasn't a fit about it or any complaint. We all eat our vegetables now and we are all pretty healthy. Of course there are some foods that your kids just won't like, but you have to give it a try. For instance, I absolutely hate sweet potatoes. Every time mom made them I would gag. So, after trying them a few different ways, mom never made me eat them again. Kids today will pitch a fit (because they are in a mood or just want McDonalds) and the parents just say "they don't like it" and kids never get the chance to really try it. Then, these kids grow up to be those annoying adults that only eat hot dogs and macaroni. And, just because you don't like a certain food doesn't mean that you shouldn't allow your child to experience and form their own opinion. Recently, we went out to dinner with friends who have a 5yr old. She ordered spaghetti and took two bites. When asked if they needed a to-go box, they said no because she won't eat it. Ok, the kid likes spaghetti and you just payed for it but since the 5yr old is running the show, she doesn't have to eat dinner at all. Not acceptable. Now, most parents don't cook every night busy kids have sports and dance and all these things going on. Isn't that more of a reason for them to have a healthy meal? Bottom line, my kids will not be eating fast food every night (I'm praying they never learn about McDonald's) and they will try all sorts of cuisine. On a side note… we took my nieces and nephew to a Japanese steakhouse a few weeks ago where they cook in front of you. Amazingly the kids tried to eat their meal with chopsticks (they are 2, 3, 4 and 5). The oldest, Cameron, was able to finish without even picking up his fork. He even asked to try sushi!