A couple weeks ago, we asked our friends on our Facebook page to tell us what battles they’re currently fighting in their homes— or choosing not to.

As we all know, there are some parenting buttons our children push that are perhaps best left ignored. Then there are dishes left in the sink instead of the immediately adjacent dishwasher, which we believe we have no choice but to interpret as a spouse’s call to arms.

In this episode we decide once and for forevermore which of the following battles are worth fighting:

  • messy playrooms
  • messy kids’ rooms
  • food outside the kitchen
  • co-sleeping children
  • co-sleeping pets
  • matching outfits (for school, church, family weddings)
  • shorts in the winter
  • picky eating
  • hats at the dinner table
  • saying “like” like, every third word

Even if a battle is worth— let’s say “skirmishing”— there are more and less productive ways of making your point, and in this episode we lay out what does and doesn’t work for us.

We also love Stephanie Dolgoff’s article for ParentingHow To Choose Your Battles.

Stephanie suggests creating a short “family-values list” of non-negotiable points (like no name-calling) in a non-confrontational moment. And when all else fails, don’t be afraid to compromise. As Stephanie writes,

“When [your kids] see you work out what’s really important, they learn how to work out for themselves what’s really important.”

See that? Choose your battles, and you just might win a few.

This episode is brought to you by Pip & Grow, makers of the Smitten Sleep System for babies. Inspired by the Finnish tradition, the durable and lightweight Smitten is ready to go wherever your infant goes. You can assemble the Smitten in five minutes or less— no cursing required!– and the Smitten meets all of the safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Use the code “FRESH” to get $10 off a Woodland Smitten. (That’s the gray baby box with the cute deer silhouette and birch pattern.) Find out more at pipandgrow.com— and tell them we sent you!