The truth is, what you say is not nearly as important as your attitude. Your child feels your warmth and love even when you don’t say a word.

But what about those times when you’re not feeling all that much love?  Those hot moments when you’re trying hard to keep things from blowing up, and you want to say something constructive, but you aren’t thinking all that clearly? When you wish you had a fairy godmother whispering in your ear?

Try keeping three basic guidelines in mind: Connection, Feelings, Solutions.If you can use them all, great! But even if you only use one, you’ll get yourself and your child on the right track. Every one of these works like a magic wand. Here’s how.

1. Connect

Parenting is 90 percent connection. Kids can’t hear us, cooperate with our requests, or even feel good in their own skin unless they feel connected with us. So when everything’s going wrong, start by connecting.

When your child isn’t listening to you, try putting your hand on her arm and making eye contact before you say gently, “Hey, Sweetie.” (Use your child’s name.)


– Laura Markham

Read More: “Just Tell Me What to Say!” 3 Guiding Principles for Parents

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