Keep calm and connect with your child: simple ways to change the way you communicate (even in the midst of conflict)

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Talking with your child from the very beginning is one of the most important things you can do to build a healthy brain and emotional security.

Children learn language from the moment they are born through relationships with their caregivers. Day by day, babies learn that sounds have meaning. Every time you talk, sing, or point to what you are talking about, you provide clues to the meaning of what you are saying and create strong relational connection. This is why “Talking, Singing and Pointing” is one of The Basics: 5 fun, simple, powerful ways every child can get a great start in life!

But it’s not just the quantity of words spoken to your child that matters. The quality of the words you speak make a huge difference in your child’s confidence, security, and connection to you. It’s important to use more positive words than negative words, which can be challenging with young children who are prone to meltdowns and pushing your buttons.

We’ve rounded up five resources that provide practical tips and phrases as you practice speaking words that build connection and love, even in the midst of conflict and defiance.

1. Say This To Your Kids Instead (from KCBI FM)

What you say to your little ones means A LOT. There is no doubt frustration happens so, maybe this list of suggestions can help. Read more


2. Say this, not that. A parent’s guide. (from Imperfect Parent)

Are you tired of being ignored? Feeling frustrated that your kids respond to you with grunts and “I don’t know?”

Sometimes, the way we phrase things can make a big difference. It’s not always easy to remember what to say or how to say it, especially when your child is in the middle of a meltdown.

So, here’s a quick reference guide for parents. Read more

say this not that x

3. How to talk to kids so they RESPOND! (from Teach Through Love)

Would you like to know how to talk to kids using peaceful conflict resolution strategies to ease tension, or calm aggressive behavior in your children?

Often, we can be triggered by our own unresolved traumas – big and small – and this can make it extremely challenging to remain compassionate as we confront our kid’s BIG, explosive emotions. (Read more)

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4. 7 phrases to try instead of saying ‘no’  (from motherly)

We have a small challenge for you: count the number of times you say “no” on a given day. Your baby pulls the cat’s fur, your toddler throws a ball at her brother, your child whines for a cookie before dinner—the temptation to say no is almost irresistible. It rolls off the tongue. It feels like the easiest way to get your point across.

But what if there was an even better way to communicate your message? What if you could choose words that connect you to your kids and make you feel more confident and effective? You can, mama. Read more


5. 50 Ways to Encourage a Child (from TeachThought)

There are many ways to encourage a child, but for students of any age, honest, authentic, and persistent messages from adults that have credibility in their eyes are among the most powerful. Read more

things you can say to encourage a child

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Here are some additional resources that can help you on your journey:

  • Watch this short video for encouraging ways that real parents are Talking, Singing and Pointing with their little ones.
  • Follow The Palmetto Basics on Facebook and Twitter. We provide encouraging, real-life, shareable content to help parents and caregivers!
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