Something to Snack On

Kristy Eckert

I once said that if I wrote a parenting book, it would only need a single page with a single sentence: Always have a snack on hand.

But I have learned another thing or two. Usually the hard way. So in honor of ColumbusParent's baby issue, I'm sharing said bits of wisdom.

Here, in no particular order, are 10 Things Every Parent Should Know.*

Always have a snack on hand. (And if you're really good, you'll have two, so when you eat the first, there's still something left for the kid.)

Bribery works. It's just the cold, hard reality of life. Embrace it.

There is no excuse not to buy awesome Band-Aids, which you can get for the same cost as the flesh-colored ones. Don't be lame.

Redirection: Learn it. Own it. Love it. And when you need to redirect yourself away from the child and toward the chocolate, do not let even the slightest hint of guilt enter your consciousness.

Sing a song. And if that doesn't work, dance. It's almost always the answer. On the rare occasion it is not, ice cream is.

Car rides offer your best shot at talking with teens - especially if you're toting the friends. (If you need help making your teenagers more annoyed with you than they inherently are, buy the book If…Questions for the Game of Life by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell and use it to start conversation. Road-trip gold.)

Always tote the friends.

There is actually no reasoning with Grandma on acceptable amounts of sugar, sleep or gifts. Stop trying.

Under no circumstance should you buy or, worse, hand-craft a Halloween costume until it's at least 48 hours 'til go time. His mind will change. I promise.

Don't take a child into Target. Ever. If you think you go in now intending to buy shampoo and leave with $125 worth of absolutely necessary things you can't believe you were living without, imagine the damage you can do with the assistance of a bright-eyed kiddo. The dollar pit is, I assure you, magnetic.

*Note: Do not mistake this for tips or a guide of any sort. This does not in any way, shape or form mean I think I am an expert. I can almost guarantee that at this very moment, my 5-year-old just finished attempting to argue with me over eating his carrot sticks and is sulking toward his time out. And that I'm opening a bottle of wine.

-Kristy Eckert is a Powell mom and the Chief Communication Officer at Flying Horse Farms, a camp in Mt. Gilead that provides magical experiences for children with serious illnesses. You can reach her