Who has time to read countless books on being a better mom amidst laundry, homework, extracurricular activities, work, birthday parties and more? These ways to be a better parent require no more effort than reading this article.

Laugh With Your Kids

It’s easy, free and enjoyable. Even if you just laugh at stupid poop jokes, like my family does, laughing releases endorphins and gives you a subtle rush.

Sleep on It

With apologies to anyone in the newborn phase, moms of older kids can go to bed earlier, get up later, or take a short nap on the couch while the kids watch TV. (I tried that last suggestion myself. Thumbs up!)

Stay Hydrated

You’ll feel more contented if you’ve been drinking enough. Of course I mean water. Mostly. My teenager and I swing by the drive-thru every so often to indulge in a large soda. Sure, there’s no nutritional value, blah blah blah. However, it makes me happy and my teenager loves it.

Say, “I Love You”

Never mind if your daughter replies with “Great.” (True story) Your kids, and their hearts, will blossom when they hear those words.

Hug Your Kids

Even your teen needs a good squeeze. Physical touch prevents illness and creates a tangible bond.

Do Nothing

Let them be bored and figure out for themselves how to live with that or change that.

Be Yourself

Show them that you are not perfect and that everyone has flaws as well as awesomeness. I like to think I’m celebrating my imperfections when I sing the wrong lyrics to pretty much every song on the radio.

Listen

Once my daughter spent 20 minutes replaying every mundane moment of a dream. I spent 20 minutes nodding and saying, “Uh huh” while drinking coffee and watching the news. It worked for both of us.

Don’t Compare Your Kids

To each other, to their friends, or to you. When my husband tells our son what he used to do to be a better hockey player in high school, my son’s eyes glaze over. There will always be someone who is faster, stronger, tougher, cuter, smarter, etc.

Let Them Fail

It takes effort to intervene and fix things for them. When my daughter tried to build a sidecar for her stuffed animals on her scooter, I knew it wouldn’t work. However, she needed to see for herself that 23 stuffed animals in a shoe box taped to her handlebars wouldn’t cut it. She reaped the benefits of resilience and perseverance from her failure and redesigned a working sidecar.

– Katy M. Clark

10 Lazy Ways to Be a Better Parent
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