Top Parenting Challenges: How to Deal

From potty training to breaking curfew, kids always find a way to challenge and sometimes completely frustrate their parents. As a mom, how can you cope with the curveballs kids will inevitably throw at you during their 18 years - or more - under your roof? First, gauge yours and your partner's reactions to misbehavior. If one is more lenient than the other, the child will learn quickly that it's easy to divide and conquer, getting a different outcome with each parent. Enforce a punishment if you see it becoming a problem and communicate that punishment. Let kids know that if they ask Parent 1 for something and Parent 1 says no, then there will be repercussions for asking Parent 2. Give kids the outcome of various disciplinary scenarios before they even come up to head off bad behavior at the pass. For example, the store temper tantrum is one that many parents face with dread and frustration.
But before you even set foot in the store, let your child know exactly what you plan on buying and whether or not you'll be buying something for her. That way, when you have to say no, it's not a surprise. Likewise, give children your expectations of how to behave - and what happens if they don't - at a restaurant before you even arrive. Basically, planning ahead - clearly outlining for the child the consequences of good and bad behavior - is key to heading off bad behavior before it happens. Sticking with those consequences and enforcing them every time is the best way to let your child know you mean business. Finally, take care of yourself. Parenting is a huge challenge, so exercise, eat right and get plenty of sleep to avoid exhaustion.