Does Homework Really Help?
A Letter of Apology to My Parents, Whom I Love and Adore

Have you used these 5 Powerful Phrases with your child today?


My son was recently complaining, “Mom, you think you know everything.”


As it happens, I do.


Still, he got me thinking. In our zeal to establish authority, provide guidance and just plain survive parenthood, do we sometimes go a bit overboard?


While we might (think we) know the right answer to every question, sometimes admitting our uncertainty teaches a more important lesson – like how to learn from our mistakes and move on in life.


Or, how to be tolerant of someone whose opinions are different than ours.


How to forgive.


And, how to love yourself, in all your glorious, human imperfection.


When we joyfully reveal our imperfections to our children, we give them permission to stop trying so hard to be perfect themselves. 


How we talk to our children is important.


As conscious parents, we need to always remember that our children are absorbing everything we say and do... as well as everything we don’t say or do. They are drawing their own conclusions about what they observe in us.


And they may not always be “learning” what we would hope.


Imagine your child carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Struggling through what should be the most carefree, exuberant time of her life – except for the constant, gnawing fear of making a mistake.


Embarrassing himself.


Being found wanting. 


Now, imagine lifting that weight from her shoulders, with a few key phrases. Easy words, really, to add to your vocabulary. 


Here they are: 5 Powerful Phrases to use in conversation with your child today.


1. “I don’t know.”


2. “I never thought of it that way.”


3. “I made a mistake.”


4. “I apologize.”


5. “I love you.” Followed closely by its corollaries, “I still love you,” and “I will always love you, no matter what.”  


Do you want your child to grow up to be someone who is comfortable using these phrases? Do you want your offspring to be conscious parents themselves, someday using such words with their own children?


Well then, we need to start modeling the use of these words today. Remember, our children learn the most from our example.


I invite you to take a few moments now, and imagine incorporating these phrases into a conversation with your child.


I don’t know why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Let’s see if we can find an answer on the Internet.”


“You want to clean up your room after your friend comes over, since you will probably make a mess playing? Hmm. I’ve never thought of it that way. Maybe we can try your approach and see how it works out.”


“I know that I said you needed to get an A on your test, if you wanted to go to the movies this weekend. I made a mistake. Let’s start over.”


“You were hurt when I said that to you. I am sorry. I really wish I hadn’t said that. I apologize.”


I love you, no matter what. I wasn’t happy when you hit your brother and I don’t like it when you treat him that way. Let’s think of better ways to handle your anger, and how to make your brother feel better now. I love you.”


As with most things in life, this gets easier with practice. Monitor yourself for a couple days, or a week. Notice how often there is an opportunity to use these phrases, and how often it feels right to choose one of them rather than your typical response.


This isn’t about giving up parental authority, it is about teaching our children to be fully functioning, peaceful human beings.


Let’s give it a try.


How will you use these 5 Powerful Phrases with your child?



Related  Posts:


I’ve written about how we talk with our children before, in my conscious parenting skill-building series.


Part 1: How to Stop the Yelling,

Part 2: Words Count: How to Clean Up Your Family’s Vocabulary,

Part 3: “I’ve told you a hundred times”... When Your Children Never Seem to Learn,

Part 4: 7 Ways to Make Peace with Your Child, and

Part 5: How to Raise Loving, Cooperative Children.


Recommended Reading:


I continue to highly recommend Pam Leo’s, Connection Parenting: Parenting through Connection instead of Coercion, through Love instead of Fear. Have you read it yet?


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