1. At least once a day, somehow, make each of your children helpless with laughter.
2. Sing in the morning. It lightens the mood for everyone, and extinguishes the grumpy moods. A plus if you're tone deaf, because then your singing would bring about the "children helpless with laughter."
3. Get enough sleep yourself. It's tempting to stay up late and enjoy the peace and quiet. But morning comes fast, and you have to be the first ones up.
4. Wake up before your kids. Instead of having to rush about getting them ready while getting yourself ready, wake up earlier and do it at a leisurely pace even if it's hard. It makes a difference to the quality of the mornings.
5. Cut back on treats and impulse buys for your kids. If the treats are rare, it would be more exciting for the children.
6. Try to say "yes." Most messages to kids are negative like "stop", "don't", "no." For example, "Yes, we'll go as soon as you've finished eating," instead of "We're not leaving until you've finished eating."
7. Look for little ways to celebrate. Having simple, fun celebrations brings the family closer.
8. Repetition works. Instead of telling your kids too many different things, try to keep it simple by repeating key phrases. For example, "answer the first time you're asked"; "ask first"; "accidents will happen," or "you get what you get, and you don't get upset"(e.g. when cupcakes are handed out, you don't keep trying to switch).
9. Say "no" only when it really matters. Things that don't really matter too much, with no severe impact is fine. Samuel Johnson said, "All severity that does not tend to increase the good, or prevent evil, is idle."
10. Remind yourself how brief this is. The days are long but the years are short. Appreciate what you have.
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