The Efficient Parent Blog


Nurture. Teach. Protect. = The Efficient Parent September 3, 2009

Filed under: Nurture,Protect,Teach — theefficientparent @ 17:59
The concept of  THE EFFICIENT PARENT  is very simple.  
If we strive to nurture, teach and protect our children in positive ways, then we are striving to be the efficient parent, and we are fulfilling our role as parents.    
More than anything, it’s the quality of our parenting  that determines the quality of a child’s future.  Exposing our kids to different fun experiences reinforces what they  learn in their church and school classrooms, and helps them make those educational and spiritual connections on a deeper level.  Nurturing our children with the unconditional love that God shows us shapes their hearts and creates their kind spirits. 
Protecting them from the dangers of the world…whether it’s the dangers of world “out there” or the daily dangers that pop up inside our own little world…makes them feel safe and secure in their home.  
It’s our job as parents to prepare our kids for what lies ahead. 
My personal indicator by which I will determine if I’ve been successful at being  The Efficient Parent is if my children develop into adults who are living in a way that is pleasing to God.  Of course, that means I have to parent them in a way that is pleasing to God.  That’s really all that matters. 
Time tells all truths.
Parents will always be the most influential factor in shaping our children.  Our job as parents is the most important role we’ll ever play.  It’s too important to mess it up.  Of course, there are certain days when I feel like this blog could arguably be named “The Deficient Parent”.  But if we get it right…the efficient parent part….most of the time, then I think our kids will turn out fantastic.  Here are just some thoughts about what nurture, teach and protect mean to me.
Nurturing goes a long way and determines if a child will grow up to be an angry person or not.  Adults who have anger problems…”the perpetually angry”…were not perpetually nurtured as kids.  Kids learn to love by being loved.   If a child is nurtured by at least one person consistently, then they will be better equipped to nurture others – and themselves – as well. 
Any situation can be used to teach.   Exposing them to different situations and experiences truly helps make a deeper educational connection when they are studying particular topics in school.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of work to create a teachable moment.  Just remembering that our children need guidance and direction can prompt a simple discussion or activity that they’ll benefit from.  
Protecting our children is the one area that a child might not be able to rebound from if we don’t do it.   If we let our guard down in this one area, then we’re putting our kids at risk.  I don’t have to teach and nurture my child every moment of every day, but I do have to ensure their physical safety every moment of every day.  Otherwise, our kids are at risk for not just having a ruined day, but a ruined life.   If I miss an opportunity to teach them something, then the information  can always be learned at another time.  If I snap at my son when I’m impatient, I’ve ruined the moment, but I haven’t ruined the future.  Kids are resilient like that.  But if I fail to protect my children from a physical danger then their futures could  be forever altered negatively.
  • Main Entry: ef·fi·cient
  • Pronunciation: \i-ˈfi-shənt\
  • Function: adjective
  • Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin efficient-, efficiens, from present participle of efficere
  • Date: 14th century

1 : being or involving the immediate agent in producing an effect <the efficient action of heat in changing water to steam>
2 : productive of desired effects; especially : productive without waste <an efficient worker>

synonyms see effective  — ef·fi·cient·ly adverb
So, let’s go forward and parent our kids the   NURTURE, TEACH AND PROTECT way!!

Pooping…and other uses for toilet paper August 20, 2009

Filed under: Teach — theefficientparent @ 11:43

a-surprise-for-you-mommyI was a little nervous when my son yelled “Mommy I have a surprise for you” while he was on the toilet pooping.  But it was all okay because he just wanted to show me the (most beautiful) flower he made out of toilet paper.  Why is it that men are at their best on the toilet?  I digress…

So, this is a good time to talk about getting kids to wipe their own bottom after pooping.  My son has been completely solo with wiping his bottom for quite about a full month now, but the preparation to get him to this point took a few months.  It started with using the handy dandy flushable wipes.  We showed him how to use them properly (had to show him a few times) and then instructed him to wipe first, and THEN call us to come in and do a quality assurance (QA) check. 

At first it was very messy and he was failing the inspections.    But with some remedial training, his wiping skills began to improve.  He became so proficient at wiping his bottom that he was passing all of the QA inspections with flying colors.  It was time to scale back the QA inspections.  That is where we are today…we “spot check” his work as needed. 

So when he yelled that he had a surprise for me, I was worried!  And he was right, it was a really lovely surprise to see such a beautiful creation made on the toilet.


Baby Bootcamp: Fun Fitness August 19, 2009

Filed under: Teach — theefficientparent @ 15:01

Whoever invented the baby jogging stroller deserves a medal.  I just broke my eBay purchase in  and loved it.  jogging

It’s a fixed wheel infant stroller with a hand brake.  That’s about as fancy as I can handle.  I bought it so my soon to be 4 year old son and I can go running together to teach him to love physical fitness.  He and I run at the same pace and have about the same endurance!  He makes a good little running partner. jogging-stretch

Since we tend to develop our future adult level of fitness and exercise as children, I want to engage my kids in structured exercise early and make it FUN.  So today we began our fitness program “Baby Bootcamp”.  It’s preparing me to run a 5k and jiggle all this baby fat off of my body, my son can jog with me and/or ride his little bike beside me, and my little infant daughter can sleep comfortably while her family is getting fit. 

We stretched before hand, and my son is as uncoordinated as me!  But for day 1 of Baby Bootcamp, I think it was a success.  He rode beside me and rang his little bell at the other joggers to say hello.  They ooohed and awed over him and giggled because he’s so darn cute!  The best part is that we both had a blast!!


Traffic “Issues”

Filed under: Protect,Teach — theefficientparent @ 04:03
Tags: , ,
It was an an “aha” moment while sitting in traffic.   I was making a left turn at a busy intersection with a blind spot & couldn’t see if there was oncoming traffic coming.  So I made a decision to stay put until I got a green arrow. 

The guy behind me made it abundantly clear that he was definitely not in favor of my decision.



I realized this when he laid on his horn behind me.  And from my rearview mirror, I could see his arms wildly flailing (ironically just like my infant daughter’s arms flail when she’s upset!!).  Happily, I couldn’t hear the words that were flying out of his mouth, but I assure you that he wasn’t wishing me a blessed day! 

The guy with the flailing arms wasn’t too concerned about our safety…he was having a really, really bad day and he was having his bad day in a hurry. 


My first priority was to protect my children and myself by not making a blind left turn into oncoming traffic.  Still, my first reaction was a sense of urgency to make the left turn regardless of if anyone was coming.  For a brief moment, the big guy with those crazy arms and fast-moving mouth seemed like more of an immediate threat than any cars that might crash into me. 


But I kept my cool and stuck with my decision to put saftey first.  And then the thought hit me…I wasn’t the cause of that guy’s bad day.  I suspect he has many episodes like that often, and I simply can’t take credit for making him mad.  Honestly, I’m just not that influential over anyone.


 Whatever his problem was that day wasn’t going to be solved by me making a left turn when he demanded…he needed professional help!  So, as I sat there (with my doors locked and 911 pulled up on my phone…just in case!) sticking to my “no left turn” policy, I also made a new policy in life not to own other people’s problems…especially in traffic!  Wow, what a sense of freedom.  I didn’t get upset at the guy for cursing me and honking at me.  My day wasn’t ruined by letting his problems spill over into my day.  My heart rate and blood pressure were perfectly normal.


Not taking ownership of someone else’s  “issues” meant my day wasn’t ruined.  I’d  like to pass that onto my children.