6 Simple Words That Provide Dramatically Positive Results For Kids

Family Matters on 04.26.12
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Photo Credit: Monica Rodgers 

I have had a parenting epiphany or what i also refer to as a "parenpiphany".

This one came in the form of this blog post written by Rachel Macy Stafford.  I am thinking I will forevermore refer to her adoringly as: The Oracle of the Obvious because the advice she gave was so simple and so obvious - yet it's the last thing I would have ever thought to do on my own!  It has unlocked a world of tenderness and appreciation between myself and my children since I've put it into practice and miraculously, has added a certain freedom to my parenting that has never existed before. 

Before I unveil her magic words I should give some background on why I think they are so effective. 

Think back to when you were a kid.  Do you remember what it was like to "perform" in front of your parents? What if you made an error during the "big game" or the piano recital. Do you remember dreading those after moments where you would have to endure the discomfort as your parents awkwardly tried to offer inadequate words of encouragement or advice for next time?  

How about as a parent now?  Do you struggle to know how best to advise your children or guide them in their efforts as they try their hand at skateboarding, violin, or painting?  Do you suppress the urge to jump in and show them how to do it?  Do you feel the tension rise as they become discouraged or uninterested? Regardless of the the words we use- invariably what they interpret is that they have not met our approval in some way. Eventually they feel the "pressure" to perform instead of just enjoying the experience. 

Well what if the pressure were off? 

What if you just had one thing you could say that would turn what was formerly interpreted as an assessment or evaluation into something that offers immediate freedom for both and fosters confidence and happiness?  

Here are the words:  

" I Love Watching You _______ " (insert word).

example: I love watching you play, I love watching you have fun, I love watching you run, I love watching you sing, I love watching you laugh, I love watching you skip.

I know it sounds too obvious right?  But try it and see what happens.  For the past two weeks since I have used these words on countless occessions and so have my friends and the results have all of us remarking on what a difference it's made. 


Just by saying these six words, my children have become two little beaming rays of light that shine their smiles and eyes of love and appreciation my way at various moments throughout the day.  Their entire body has shifted into a relaxed and carefree mode that I did not even know had been missing.  I too, feel a remarkable amount of freedom in knowing that all I have to say are these six magic words to access an immediate appreciative response from them again and again. 

Try it today!  Don't add to it, don't take away from it- just wait for an opportunity to say to them:
"I just love watching you ________", and see what happens! 

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