3 Peaceful Parenting Phrases (For Better Communication!)

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Do you struggle with a child who won't listen or who pushes back on anything you say? Here are 3 powerful, peaceful parenting phrases you can use to improve communication and help your child feel more understood and more valued. #Peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingIf you struggle with your child pushing back, or if you ever feel like your child just doesn’t listen, this episode is for you!

Today we’re going to talk about three powerful phrases to help us communicate better and more peacefully with our children.

These three phrases are tools that you’ll be able to put into practice right away to help your child feel more understood and more valued.

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to diffuse power struggles before they even begin! These three phrases are ones that counselors like myself use every single day in their practice. So once you learn them, you can use them not only in your parenting…but also with your spouse, your friends, your boss…anyone!

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 1

The first phrase we are going to talk about  goes like this, “So what I hear you saying is…”

This phrase is a type of reflective listening, or restating what your child has just told you. When we paraphrase something that’s just been told to us, we’re doing two things.

1- We are showing the child that we actually hear their primary concern.

2- We are giving them the chance to clarify if we misunderstood them.

Let me give you an example of how this technique is used. Imagine you and your family have just come home from church one Sunday.

You ask your son, “How was Sunday school?” He responds, “First we had circle time and our teacher had on a new blue dress. Then we had Bible story time but during the story Sam kept trying to talk to me and I told him to shush but the teacher only saw me talking and she moved me to the other side of the class so I couldn’t hear the story anymore and it’s not fair! Then we had a snack and music time.”

Whew! That’s a lot of information! How do you process all that?

Using reflective listening, you might say back to your child, “What I hear you saying is, Sam kept talking to you and you got the blame for interrupting story time.”

See, you just summarized alllll those words with just a few. Now your child feels heard. He feels like you truly care about what he’s saying. (It also gives him the chance to clarify if you misunderstood!)

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 2

The second phrase I want to teach you is, “It sounds like…”

By using this phrase, you are offering empathy and validating your child’s feelings.

In the case of the Sunday school example we just talked about, you might say to your child, “It sounds like you felt frustrated.”

Again, now your child has the opportunity to say, “Yeah! I did!” Or, “No I didn’t feel frustrated, I felt mad!”

Now that your child has identified his feelings, he’ll be able to regulate them better.

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 3

The third phrase I want to teach you is, “So where do we go from here?”

As parents, we very much want to solve our children’s problems. We’re busy and we need to fix this situation so we can keep moving to the next item on our to-do list.

However, when we jump in and intervene on their behalf, we are missing out on an opportunity to teach our kids how to be problem-solvers.

Not only that, but we could also be setting ourselves up for another power struggle.

In the Sunday School example we talked about earlier, we might be tempted to tell our child what to do. Instead, you might say, “So where do we go from here?” This will allow your child to come up with his own solution.

You are empowering your child to feel more in control. (And you’re also teaching him a valuable skill!) If a child has had all of his problems solved for him his whole childhood, once he enters adulthood, he’s not going to have the skills he needs to solve his own day-to-day struggles.

Now you may be thinking, “But I’m not a counselor and that kind of language doesn’t come naturally to me!” That’s okay! It didn’t come naturally to me at first either. Like anything, this takes practice.

The more you do it, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel and the easier it will come.

To summarize, here are three key phrases to use with your kids to improve your communication:

  • So what I hear you saying is…. (This is reflective listening.)
  • It sounds like…. (This is validating your child’s feelings.)
  • So where do we go from here? (This is empowering your child to problem-solve.)

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.