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One dad gave a glimpse into what mornings and evenings look like at his house. And parents are saying, "This looks familiar."

By Beth Ann Mayer
March 30, 2021
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Kids. We love them, but sometimes, they just drive us nuts.

One dad decided to take a laugh-to-keep-from-crying approach. His wife posted it to TikTok under the username @theawesomelawsons in a two-part series that's going viral with about 1.5 million combined views.

An image of a unicorn headband on a colorful background.
Credit: Getty Images. Art: Jillian Sellers.

In video one, Dad imitates his 8-year-old daughter's afternoon and evening routine. It starts with him bursting through the door after school, kicking off his shoes, throwing his backpack on the floor, and running to the fridge for a snack. (To be fair, I still did this in my 30s after work). Then, he heads to his room to start on some homework—just kidding, he's dancing for TikTok. Later, we see dad clad in a full-on unicorn costume eating cereal before dinner, then being too full to finish dinner and later complaining he's hungry. It's time for bed but not before having to brush his teeth with "spicy toothpaste." The video ends with him trying to put off bedtime for as long as possible by yelling into a fan and asking mom for kisses.

Video two offers a glimpse into the family's morning routine. Dad (as daughter), still in a unicorn outfit and perhaps tired from not going to bed on time, does not want to get up. Mom insists, despite pleas for "five more minutes" and some crocodile tears. The protests continue when Dad is sleeping in the bathroom doorway instead of brushing his teeth. He does brush his teeth, with a little sass ("She wants me to brush my teeth, so I'm brushing my teeth," he says). What's on the breakfast menu? Not popsicles or candy, much to Dad's chagrin. A few sassy clips and some sashaying down the hallway later, and Dad is (finally) on his way to school in a Piper Rockelle shirt and a unicorn headband.

Does this sound familiar? It did to some commenters. "Omg, this is so real! Never laughed so hard," one user posted. "How did you get live footage of my daughter?" joked another. "I'm glad I ain't the only one living this life," one posted said.

Others were just straight-up impressed with Dad's fashion choices. "Where did you get that unicorn onesie? Asking for a friend," one person commented. "How is he rocking these outfits so hard?" another asked.

It's great this dad could have some fun with the chaos, especially because he and his partner may actually be in the middle of the most challenging stage. In a recent survey, parents reported that age 8 is the toughest year to parent. Common characteristics of 8-year-olds include protesting chores, ignoring their parents, eye-rolling, and general stubbornness. Of course, different kids may go through these phases at different stages (or not at all), but know it's not "just you" if you're going through this with your kiddo.

Though there's not necessarily a quick fix, experts share that it's best to avoid drawing attention to what's not going well. Try to stay positive (such as, "I know you are a loving person and want to do good things") and note when things go well without doling out over-the-top praise. For example, at bedtime, you might say, "You put your plate away today. Thank you for doing that. It was a big help." And make sure you make time not only to talk but listen, such as a nightly bedtime chat or a weekly hike.

Most of all, hang in there. This too shall pass.

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