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The Weird Parenting Tricks People Have Used That Actually Worked

1 minute read

Have a baby who won’t stop crying? Consider blasting some Jennifer Lopez, argues radio producer Hillary Frank, author of the upcoming book Weird Parenting Wins. Many books that outline best parenting practices leave little room for creativity, offering black-and-white solutions to unique and colorful situations. That kind of one-size-fits-all guidance can make parents feel helpless, Frank argues.

“If they work, yay, we’re winning at parenting,” Frank writes. “If not, we are lost.” But she knows there are a million ways to get your kid to eat broccoli. So she collected moments from parents and children alike, detailing real-life drastic measures that probably shouldn’t have worked but did. Want to spice up your dinner routine? Take your meal outside the dining room. Need to quell a temper tantrum? Hand your child a mood ring.

Frank reconsiders everything from potty training to grappling with adolescence. All kids are different, so who knows what will work for you. But there are worse ways to start the new year than dining in the bathtub.

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Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com