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12 powerful parenting words to know


It’s a far cry between the parents we think we’ll be while decorating that first nursery and planning organic, homemade baby meals and the ones we become when there are two or three wild little creatures wreaking havoc in the nursery with those brightly colored sweet potatoes, but that doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying.

If you’re at the end of your rope and need a little refresher course (while hiding in the one bathroom that still has a lock), check out this list of twelve essential words from parents by 12Most’s Becky Gaylord.

(When all else fails, remember that some psychiatrist might one day make a living off your shortcomings, so at the very least, you’re a job creator at the end of the day.)

1. Whisper

As the mom of two very rambunctious boys — I’ve lost count of the holes poked in drywall, windows cracked and pieces of furniture damaged — one trick works far better than raising my voice: whispering to them. Don’t get me wrong, I yell, too. But it never works. What does, almost every time? Getting on the same level as their four-year old and eight-year old ears and talking very quietly. Takes a lot of control. But it’s very effective.

2. Perhaps

“No” is like lighting a fuse. It can trigger a tantrum — especially when a child who hears that word is tired or hungry. My go-to alternative is “perhaps.” It’s honest. Sometimes something that I’ve said might, perhaps, happen does. Either way, it’s a much better result than throwing the fuel of “NO!” at the two little sparks I call my sons. For example, if asked, “Mom, can we go sledding?” I’d say, “Perhaps.” And add: “If you finish your homework due Monday and speak kindly to your brother.” It helps motivate that behavior. And if he complies, we go sledding. If not, we don’t.

“We’ll see” works just as well. As does, “maybe later.”

It’s not that we don’t use “No.” We do. But these other options can be very useful.

Full story at 12Most.

Tips on parenting.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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