Please know that all of my parenting articles on my blog are me writing from a place of “in process”. I know a lot of times when we read blogs and the great advice that’s dished out, we may think–they have this thing down. Maybe others do, but I don’t.
The counselor in me, begs me to constantly read and research, so I’m always tweaking my parenting ideas and I share them here. Sometimes they don’t work, sometimes they do. So in the same way, some things will work for you and others just won’t because our kids are different and our personalities are different.
As I mentioned, above I’m always reading parenting articles and books but often I forget that great idea. Has that happened to you? You jot it down in a napkin and tuck it in your purse only to find yourself using it to clean your sons nose bleed.
Well, I’ve been wanting to write these down for myself in printable form so I can put them up in our dining room “family command center” wall. So, I thought I’d share them with you. At the end of the post you’ll find the link so you can download and print out these yourself.
5 Important Phrases that Help Me Parent
Communicate & Replied – If your kids are anything like one of my boys, they always have a rebuttal. If I say we’re having eggs for breakfast, he says in his whiniest voice, “But I wanted cereal. Can I have cereal” If I say, “We’re having cereal for breakfast.” He’ll say, “But I wanted eggs. Can I have eggs?” Yup, welcome to my world. He thinks he can convince me otherwise when I’ve already responded. So, after reading some parenting advice on a blog that I enjoy she shares the Ask & Answered Method. It’s genius! Well, I tweaked it to fit our family, since it’s not always a question they’re asking. So I say, “Did you already communicate with me your: needs, question, your thoughts, your desire… (Yes!)
Have I replied? (Yes!) So, do I look like the kind of person who says something but then changes my mind? (No!) After you do this a few times then just say Communicate/d & Replied.
I appreciate… As simple as these two words are sometimes it’s hard to remember to appreciate our little ones. This simple statement helps our child feel valued and loved. Who doesn’t want to feel that? I know I still like it. I’ve been using this hands on way to help me remember to appreciate my littles and it’s been working.
Stop and obey. I started using this with my toddler but one day I used it with my 7 and 11 year old and it worked. So now I find myself saying this phrase to all of my kids. It’s wonderful and works great if you don’t use it ALL the time. You can find the details here on how it’s used.
Connect & Redirect – I was recently explaining the value of this to a friend. Let’s say you and your spouse had a disagreement and because you were so emotionally involved you couldn’t see the big picture. So your spouse, is wondering if you’re in your right mind. He doesn’t think so and he says, “You’re completely out of your mind honey. Why would you think that’s okay.” And he goes on to tell you why.
This kind of response is definitely not going to put you in a calm-down mode. Actually, it’s going to do the complete opposite, even if you kind of agree with him. The same goes for our kiddos. They may behave in an irrational and out of control way but it’s important that you connect with them first. Sometimes they just want their feelings to be validated and they move on. One of my boys is that way, he’ll come in from playing outside with lots of drama about something and all I need to say is, “I’m sorry to hear that____. Are you okay?” He responds with yes and goes back to play. Other times it takes some redirecting which is why I need to remember to connect with him first and then try to redirect him. If it’s late, he’s tired or hungry; then wait to redirect. It doesn’t mean you’ll ignore it, but this isn’t necessarily the time for it. Obviously, there will be times when he’s in danger and you’re not going to stop and connect, you’re just going to redirect but those situations, for the most part, are far and few in between.
I’m all done with this conversation. I used this a lot, usually when I have a child arguing or debating with me about something. It kind of goes back to the first thing Communicate & Reply. One of my boys used to get himself all in a tizzy right before bed about something. Usually, he had a bad day at school and we would talk about it right before bed. After we were done discussing his bad day, I would remind him about something before leaving his room. Something like, you have to take a bath tomorrow. And that would set him off. At this point I just learned to say, “I’m sorry that you’re day was so hard. But for now, I’m all done with this conversation.” Clearly, some sleep would help him.
Okay so I know this is #6, kind of sorta.
This is a question that doesn’t necessarily help me parent but it does help me be a better parent. I wanted to include it because it really helps me remember that my kiddos are little people with their own set of struggles and pressures (no matter how small they may seem to me) which are very real, in their little world.
How can I pray for you? We pray with our kiddos before we go to bed and usually it’s not a powerful prayer of blessings but when I ask them this question it helps me think of ways to pray for them in a powerful way vs. the “Thank you for this day, for bringing us home and keep us safe tonight. Amen” I don’t discount this simple prayer because I truly mean each word but asking them this simple question helps me think empathize with them more. Usually they say, I don’t know but it’s helped me change my frame of mind.
I hope these phrases help you in the challenging but awesome job of parenting. Most of the above statements have links that will take you to the article where I came up with the idea. I would encourage you to read it so you can better understand the idea behind the statement.
There are other simple things that we should remember to tell our children throughout the week, like–How are you? I love you. And so on… but on this article I wanted to focus on phrases that help me parent. This printable was really helpful to me: 28 Things Your Family Needs to Hear You Say
Here’s your free printable: Parenting Phrases Printable with the phrases and I made some blank ones that you can fill in for yourself. Just cut them out and place them around your house.
What are some of the phrases that help you parent?
Some of our readers favorites: