What can I do?

Understand why - hint - they are not being naughty!

Children love exploring what happens when they do something - for example - throwing stuff out the window or posting it through a gap in the fence or behind furniture. For them it’s part of everyday learning – and exploring e.g. “Look what happens when I …”. Young children have no idea that it’s only CDs or DVDs that go into the player not just anything that might fit!

Provide other things to do or "post".

Offer a toy that they can hide – and you can find. Play peek a- boo or hide and seek with them. Give them a box with holes in it for them to post stuff in. Empty cardboard tubes and small items make for fun posting games – watch out the items aren’t so small that they’re a choking risk.

Keep essential things out of reach.

Nothing more frustrating when you have an appointment to get to and you can’t find your keys phone, wallet or glasses. But if you leave them within reach of exploring hands, it’s not really fair to blame your kids when you can’t find them at the last minute. Work out a system that works for you and them- e.g. get into the habit of keeping your keys, wallet and bag on a hook by the door, phone in the same place so you can find it in a hurry.

If you can't find something, make the best of it - tidy up!

When you’ve got kids under five, it’s easy for things to get lost in the chaos. And even if your child has hidden whatever it is, they’ll probably have forgotten where they put it by now. So rather than getting frustrated, make it an excuse for a tidy up together – you’ll feel better and more organized even if you don’t find the missing object.

Over it? Use your phone timer to set a time limit for a play activity – your full attention for five minutes is better than half pai for longer.

Need back-up? Family members might be willing to help but not sure what to do. . Be specific – “could you please bath/feed change/dress baby”

Feeling like a bad parent? Look around and check is there anything that could be dangerous to the kids? If not, relax – you’re doing OK!

Feel like you’re always on the go? Your kids are the most important thing - and they’re only young once. Think about what absolutely must be done now and what can wait.

Worried what others think of your parenting? What your kids think of you is what really matters! If you focus on them, you’re already doing a great job.

Feeling down? Talking with someone you trust can be the first step to finding help. Working out whether your feelings are temporary or more lasting is important. Depressed? Writing down your feelings in a daily diary will help you monitor whether it’s getting better or worse. This will also help you explain better if you go to your doctor.

Sick of yelling? Try singing your frustration instead. If you hop or jump at the same time, everyone gets the giggles — another great tension buster!

Feeling yuk? If no-one else can help with the kids, grab a pillow and blanket - set up camp in your lounge until you start to feel better

Had enough? You may feel like you need alcohol or drugs to relax – but they often make the situation worse, especially when you have to deal with kids. Who could help you cut down or cut it out?

Stress over unpaid bills? Have a banking setup that automatically takes money out for your main bills first. Then you know what you have left to survive on.

Determined to stay calm?

Download the app and keep SKIP’s tips handy!

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Putting it all together

SKIP’s approach is based on six things which children need from parents to help them grow into happy, capable adults.

Tell me more

  • Love & warmth

  • Talking & listening

  • Guidance & understanding

  • A structured & secure world

  • Consistency & consequences

  • Limits & boundaries