'I literally change the clocks.' 24 slightly unethical but bloody effective parenting tips.

If you’ve ever tried to get a crying baby into a car, you’ll likely know ~the struggle~.

Aussie mum Teagan came up with a brilliant solution, issuing a PSA on the Mamamia Parents Facebook page that frankly deserves some sort of parenting initiative award.

“My baby would scream as soon as I put him in the car and not stop until he was back out again,” she shared of her all too familiar plight.

“Although this is so cringeworthy I need to tell other parents what helped us! A blown up photo of your face. I found this one from about 15 years ago; it has worked 100% of the time for us, all he needs is his mama’s face smiling at him and he sits quietly looking at it, talking to it or falling asleep. If this car nightmare sounds familiar to you this is worth a go!”

Left: Teagan's hack. Right: Her sleeping bub. Images: Supplied.

Of course, this isn’t the first parenting hack to go viral. It’s not even the first parenting hack to go viral this week. We’re all looking for quick and easy ways to keep our kids happy while getting them to do what we want them to do.

Bribery can get expensive, so hacks are the way to go... even if they’re occasionally, ahem, slightly questionable.

Mamamia has brought together the best ones on the internet, many of them sourced from our own parent readers.

On our parenting podcast This Glorious Mess, we've come up with the best family and kids shows to be streaming these school holidays. Post continues below.

Mum of four Melissa wanted to do some grocery shopping, and her husband Michael insisted she leave the kids behind so she'd have some peace.


When she came home, she found the kids lined up on the floor, sketching their dad as he laid on the couch. Observe:

Image: Facebook/Monica Weber

"He has them doing "realism art" while he "poses" AKA naps," Melissa shared of the genius move. "The winner gets a chocolate, but let's be honest, [he's] the one winning."

The activity was completely safe, she assured commenters.

"I took the pictures upon my return when all the kids shushed me because they wanted to finish their drawing... everyone enjoyed their "art break" and Mike took some stress off my plate while resting his eyes."

Meanwhile, Japanese mum Fuki Sato knew her one-year-old son would cry as soon as she was out of his sight. So she and her husband Neji made some life-size cardboard cutouts of her, in different poses, and placed one near their son. Then Fuki went off to go about her business.

Japanese mum's genius parenting hack
Genius. Image: Twitter/Fuki Sato

“As a result, it is not noticed for about 20 minutes,” Neji wrote of the clever idea on Twitter.

Like the cutout mum hack? Here’s a less expensive version:

“I used to put a rubber glove filled with rice on my second-born infant’s belly once he was asleep so he thought I was still there.”(Mamamia Parents)

And these classics for getting the kids to bed:

“I used to change all the clocks around the house forward an hour to get the kids to sleep earlier a few nights a week.” (Mamamia Parents)

“I sometimes YouTube the Giggle And Hoot “goodnight” song and trick my kid into going to bed earlier when I'm done for the day.” (Mamamia Parents)

“Buy them glow in the dark PJs. Tell them they have to lie really still under the light to ‘charge’ them. I’m not even sorry.” (Facebook)

It's a week until Christmas, so there’s still a bit of life in this Santa hack:

“We have told my daughter that the security alarm sensors throughout our house are SantaCams.” (Mamamia Parents)

Or the old-school version:

“When I was younger my older brothers told me that the little black willy wagtail birds were Santa’s spies - for YEARS I believed it! I now tell my children the same thing!” (Mamamia Parents)

There’s no shortage of hacks to stop children eating junk food:

“An ice cream truck playing music means it’s out of ice cream.” (Mamamia Parents).

"‘Ooh, you wouldn’t like that, it’s spicy.’ Her: ‘Ooh no, I don’t like spicy things!’ It was a Mars bar and I wanted to eat it all myself.” (Mamamia Parents)

"If the 'M' sign is on at McDonald's, they've run out of Happy Meals.” (Mamamia Parents)

For those days when you can’t be bothered cooking:

“If you wait long enough to make dinner, everyone will just eat cereal. It’s science.” (Twitter)

“If you call it ‘playing restaurant’, your kid cooks for you! We already served a bagel and cream cheese to Table 1!” (Twitter)

In fact, you can make playtime work for you in lots of ways. One woman has come up with a series of games that require her to lie still with her eyes closed:

“My personal favourite is What’s On My Butt?, which involves the kid finding household objects and putting them on my butt while I lie face-down on the couch. I then have to close my eyes and guess what’s on my butt. It’s a hit: Kids love saying ‘butt’, and I love naps.” (Weird Parenting Wins)

Some are simple:

“Right now I'm that dad playing hide and seek with my kid so I can actually get s**t done while she thinks she has the ‘perfect’ hiding spot.” (Twitter) 

While some are more complicated:

“How to get your kids to give you a back massage.” (Instagram)



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#ParentingHack: how to get your kids to give you a back massage... You're welcome! #parenting #tgif #hack #parents #kids #awesome

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We also found loads of tech hacks:

My phone can only stream ABC kids’ shows when my three-year-old is on the shopping trolley at the supermarket. I tell her it doesn't work anywhere else.” (Mamamia Parents)

“Wiggles CDs and kids’ music don’t work in the car.” (Mamamia Parents)

 “It’s too hot/windy/rainy for the TV to work!” (Mamamia Parents)

And this one, for trips to the shopping centre:

“The lights on the ride mean it's broken, sweetheart.” (Mamamia Parents)

Brilliant cleaning ideas:

“I’ve convinced our eight-year-old that I hate the sound of the vacuum so now she vacuums whenever she’s mad at me.” (Twitter) 

“I highly suggest you tell your kids to help clean up. They won’t do it, but they will disappear and leave you the hell alone for a few.” (Twitter)

And finally, making the leap from 'slightly unethical' to 'downright evil' is this one from Reddit’s Unethical Life Pro Tips:

I just saw the trending video of the boy crying when he saw his dog that was missing for two weeks waiting for him in his car. It occurred to me, you can have a relative watch your kid’s dog for two weeks, tell them he’s missing, bring him back on Christmas Day with a bow. No need to spend this year.” (Reddit) 

Do you have an unethical but effective parenting tip to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature image: Twitter/Fuki Sato; Facebook/Jessica D'Entremont.

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