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The 5 Best-Kept Secrets of Parenthood

You're pregnant? Congratulations! Be prepared for everyone to give you unsolicited tips and advice. People will talk your ear off about sleep training, when to start feeding solid foods, whether you should vaccinate, daycare vs. nanny, and on and on and on.

Fast-forward to the toddler years and there is a list of "fun" things that nobody has warned you about. These are so top secret that they aren't found in any books. Generations have been sworn to secrecy, so you won't even hear these tales from your grandma. Until now. Today is the day that the curtain gets pulled back on the best kept secrets of parenthood.

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1. For constipation relief, take your kid to the park.

The best way to get your child to poop is to take him to the park. There are magical powers in the sand. Even if you've asked if he needs to go to the bathroom several times before you left the house, you've got a 98 percent chance of a poop happening at the park. The more disgusting the bathroom is, the more likely they will need to go.

2. Don't get mad, get creative.

Parking spaces were designed by people who ride bicycles. There's just no other explanation for their size. You'll be challenged daily, but don't get upset. Get creative and utilize your windows or even sunroof if necessary.

3. Well, get mad sometimes.

You can't always get creative. In those situations, it's totally appropriate to get mad. Taking your child out of their car seat on the Autobahn is really scary. Pray for a break in traffic and move faster than you've ever moved in your life.

4. The art of negotiation—it's a valuable skill.

Many a tear has been shed over who's going to flush whose pee. The best way to hone their negotiation skills is to make them practice. Force them to pee together several times a day and the learning curve will be quite impressive.

5. Choose the right (read: shortest) books.

It's been drilled into our heads that we're supposed to read to our children daily. They forgot to mention that your child will select the biggest book to read at bedtime. This is the same time of day that you'll be ready to create a bonfire with the book and pour a glass of wine. Choose books wisely and only keep short ones with mostly pictures in their bedroom.

Image via Twenty20/gskyr

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You've been given the knowledge. Use it wisely. Pass it on for future generations so that they too will know the best-kept secrets of parenthood.

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