The everyday magic of parenting

Scott Dunlop
Scott Dunlop
I’m guessing you don’t have a top hat. You probably don’t have a white rabbit in your garden, never mind up your sleeve, but I’m willing to bet you use magic, almost every day, to be a better parent.

I know I do.

I’m not talking about cauldrons and (nervous) frogs, but rather the special tricks we use to make life better for our kids.
If I was a real magician, I’d never share my secrets, but I’m not, so here you go:
  • The one-pot meal, made out of “nothing”, in response to kids checking the fridge out as if it’s TV, and saying “there’s nothing to eeeeat!” This is a dish made out of thin air and some imagination. It’s commonly pulled out of your hat at the no-Salticrax time of the month. You’d be surprised what you can do with the most modest ingredients. The hardest part of the trick is getting the kids to eat it.
  • Kissy better? Are there any parents who have not done this? Magical kisses which have the power to dry tears, heal bumps and scrapes and get your child back in action. Goodbye, owies!
  • Instant craft supplies: The words “I forget to tell you, I have a project/need twenty bottle tops for school” are best responded to with magic, rather than anger. The magic here is made up of ingenuity and resourcefulness, and a garage/cupboard full of junk.
  • "Don’t saw your sister in half!" This is magic in reverse- Instead of your child hurting himself when he forgets the dangers of gravity, fire or pointy things, he’s kept safe with your eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head skills. Using superhuman sensory abilities, you anticipate and prevent all sorts of mayhem from taking place. Added tip: “Why are the kids so quiet?” is a great alarm system.
  • Watch this coin disappear! We all know how quickly kids can make your coins (and notes) disappear, but a peculiar skill is being able to make money reappear. If you find that out, please let me know! As an aside, my kids still love my weak “trick” of being able to put a coin in one ear, and pull it out of the other. They even pretend that it’s astounding magic, just to humour me.
  • Magical moments: When I’m feeling at my lowest; my most exhausted, anxious or down, my kids pull out magic of their own. A crayon drawing, just for me, or a spontaneous hug and kiss, or just some funny quirk of theirs turns my mood on its head, and my smile returns.
That last one, fellow moms and dads, is the most wonderful, mysterious, everyday magic of all.

What special tricks do you use to create parenting magic?
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