My husband has this knack with parenting hacks. I am a little embarrassed (but also really proud) to tell you that his words are included in one of my most popular posts: 5 Responses that Work with Kids. By the way, my all time favorite parenting book (yes, I admit it, I read parenting books) is the Whole Brain Child by Dan Siegel.
His wisdom leaves my mouth gaping and my mind sputtering as to why I could not have handled a situation in that way. He has these words that cause my sons to stop what they are doing and look at him. I can see their minds churning, thinking, developing right before my eyes.
Here is a secret: he thinks he is a terrible parent.
That couldn't be further from our truth.
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Parenting Hacks to Build Your Child's Character
To be fair, when I say parenting hacks, I mean responses to use during the more challenging parenting moments. These phrases will help you in communicating with your kids.
#1 – “When you choose the easy path, you become weak over time.”
So when my sons do hard things, I ask them: Do you remember what happens when you do hard things?
Hands down 10 out of 10 times they repeat back to me: I become stronger.
Yes. A thousand times yes.
#2 – “You have a voice.”
This one I have to attribute to Rachel Macy Stafford, also known as the Hands Free Mama. In her book 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More, she tells a story about not shutting down one of her daughter's greatest strengths when to some it seemed inconvenient. Later in life she sees this approach pay off in huge ways. I'll let you read the book for more details but the big take away from the story, for me at least, was the importance of reminding children they have a voice. No matter if on the playground with peers, or on stage, reminding a child he has a voice is critical.
My oldest son processes the world inwardly. He generally gets along well with others and doesn't like to go against the grain by nature. He'll take it. He let me know that his buddies were roughhousing on the playground, as many boys do, and that he didn't like to be pushed around and tripped to the ground.
Uh, yeah. Who could blame him?
He struggled because he didn't know how to let them know without simply telling the teacher. He tried to say ‘no thank you' but they continued to ‘tease' him as he put it. He told me that weren't trying to be mean, that they were just playing, but he didn't like to play that way.
See the danger is in that he did use his voice but he was shot down. So reminding him that he has a voice and to use it is more important.
Simple parenting phrases that pack a punch and will get a child to think…
That is all for now, friends. My husband is chatting with one of my sons now. I must go take notes. 🙂
Have a wonderful day.