TV host, actress, and former Olympic swimmer Christine Jacob Sandejas has got a full house on her hands. In the March 2010 issue of Smart Parenting, Christine and her family take center stage, and it’s clear she’s got her five kids—Paolo, 9; Gabby 8; Nina, 6; Luis; 3, and baby Jaime—wrapped around her little finger.
For the times when they do get out of hand, however, the ever-composed Christine has a practical solution—and it’s not as difficult as you’d think. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is the best parenting advice that the working mom has to offer, and you’ll be taking her at her word once you see how she disciplines her kids.
Here are Christine’s tips for controlling an unruly brood:
CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.
There’s no need to nitpick over every little thing. Christine says that you should pick which areas of your kid’s lives to be strict with, such as honest and obedient behavior. For the rest, relax: just live and let live!
BE NEUTRAL WHEN IT COMES TO FIGHTS.
“Depending on what it is [my kids] are screaming about, I say, ‘I’m absent,’” shares Christine. Not taking sides in an argument between your children is not only a responsible mommy practice that steers clear of favoritism, but it also teaches youngsters to figure out a compromise on their own.
PATROL THE WORDS YOUR CHILDREN USE.
Prevent the use of “bad words” in your home. These aren’t necessarily curse words—Christine tells her own kids to avoid downers like “You’re wrong!” so that the child on the receiving end of the statement does not feel mistreated.
SET GOOD PRIORITIES.
Teach your kids to do what you’ve asked them to first, so that they learn how to prioritize. Christine’s principle of “first things first” has trained her youngsters to brush their teeth and accomplish other such chores before running off to play.
Read more about Christine in the March 2010 issue of Smart Parenting, out now.
(Photo by Paolo Pineda)