One-Liners: That's One Way to Look at it

Arguing back and forth with my kids makes me crazy and simultaneously breaks my heart.  It really and truly does.  

There's the:

  • PANIC that I am somehow losing my role as parent
  • DISAPPOINTMENT in sinking to a (fight-flight-freeze) level that I didn't want to drop into
  • DREAD that the fallout from the argument will take hours of my time to deal with (that I usually don't have)
  • FEAR that I have damaged my relationship with them.

What we really want as parents is to just get back to inner tubing together on the river, baking the best homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe with them in the kitchen, or singing a duet while traveling in the car.

These are the cherish-able moments I signed up for and dreamed about when deciding to become a parent. This arguing business with my child? No thank you. 

Regardless of our skill level surrounding conflicts/arguing, we can all learn to parent with a plan, instead of parenting from our current mood or energy level.

Having a go-to list of "One-Liners" to say at opportune parenting moments is a tool that helps to meet that goal and save your strength.  

Currently in my home I am parenting kids with diagnoses ranging from ADD, dyslexia, Crohn's disease, PTSD, early trauma, and plain ol' everyday adolescence! I truly need all the parenting tools I can get!

As a Parent and Family Coach, I have helped other parents learn about and use One-Liners effectively as well.  This series is a compilation of 15 of my favorite One-Liners.

Before you use One-Liners as a parent, caregiver, or teacher, it is important to emphasize that these are NEVER said in sarcastic or angry tones.  

They are ONLY to be said after taking a deep breath and looking into your children's eyes with kindness, despite their current behavior choice.

"That's One Way to Look at It" is a One-Liner for you as parents to say when your child is:

  • expressing views/strong opinions that differ greatly with yours 
  • saying things that are "triggering" to you personally (because of a negative past experience)
  • assigning motives to you that aren't true (ie "you're just doing this because you love him more than you love me")  
  • using "fighting words" and you aren't interested in arguing with them (ie "you ALWAYS/NEVER ____").

When you say "That's One Way to Look at It" in a calm and respectful voice (absolutely no room for sarcasm), you give the opportunity for your child to learn that:

  • it's true strength to AGREE TO DISAGREE
  • it's possible to remain RESPECTFUL when you have a difference of opinion with someone
  • it's important to THINK about what the "other" way to look at the issue may be
  • the FOCUS can be on something other than who is the "winner" and a "loser" in this conversation.

A related or follow up One-Liner that may also apply to the above mentioned scenario: "I Love You too Much to Argue with You."

If you have any questions about how to use One-Liners in parenting or to begin a Coaching Group Class or One-on-One Coaching Program (online or in person), please click the blue bar at the top of this page (Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Session with Hannah).  

Up next in the One-Liners for parents series: "That's an After Question"

Catch up on previous posts in the series here (and scroll down).

Happy Parenting!

One-Liners: What did you Learn?

We all mess up.  

Sometimes, it's just little mistakes because we are tired parents with our tired parent brains (like forgetting to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and they smell like mildew...for the second time in a row now). 

Then again, sometimes we mess up big time.  Like the kind of mess ups we don't want to write about on social media or a blog post (even though we really want to be a person that completely embraces vulnerability and grace).

We all know that messing up in both tiny and tremendous ways is an unavoidable part of being human.  

Despite that knowledge, handling mistakes in ourselves and our children in a healthy way can often be difficult depending on our own personality style and the way we were parented ourselves.

Most parents don't want to parent from ingrained negative patterns from their own childhood or current energy level or mood, but instead to parent with a thoughtful plan.

On the fly, however, it is difficult to think of helpful ways to handle tricky parenting situations, such as when our children make mistakes.

Having a go-to list of "One-Liners" to say at opportune parenting moments is a tool that helps you to meet that goal (of parenting with a plan) and save your strength despite the specific parenting challenges you face.

I currently parent kids with diagnoses ranging from ADD, dyslexia, Crohn's disease, PTSD, early trauma, and plain ol' everyday adolescence and am grateful for all the tools I can get my hands on! 

As a Parent and Family Coach, I have had the opportunity to teach other parents about using One-Liners effectively.  This series is a compilation of 15 of my favorite parenting One-Liners. 

"What did you Learn?" is a One-Liner for you as parents to say when your child has made a mistake and:

  • you see there is an important lesson for them to learn 
  • you want to avoid lecturing them.

Lecturing is when YOU are the one TELLING your child

  • what their mistake was
  • the reasons they shouldn't have made the mistake
  • what they should learn from this mistake.  

When you lecture, your intended-to-be-helpful message often gets rejected simply because it is a lecture.  

When you lecture,

  • you (unintentionally) get in the way of the message
  • your child's brain doesn't need to engage
  • your child can easily tune you out.

Additionally, humans (little or big) DO NOT learn when they are in a fight-fight-freeze (stress) response. Lectures are often given when parents THEMSELVES are in fight-flight-freeze and in turn elicit the fight-flight-freeze in their child (who they are sincerely trying to help not make that same mistake again). 

Usually, your child already knows what they did that was wrong, why it was wrong, and even have ideas about what they should do differently next time.

THEIR ideas often hold the catalyst for their own growth and change.  

Saying to your child, "What did you Learn?" in a calm, respectful tone with kind eyes gives your child an opportunity to: 

  • stay out of fight-flight-freeze response
  • think about what did and didn't go well (instead of thinking about how annoying you are for lecturing them)
  • own the choices they made
  • truly learn from their mistake.

Having go-to planned phrases such as these can serve to keep YOU as parent from spiraling into further frustration (or other fight-flight-freeze responses) over their mistakes.

Hearing your child give their answer to this "What did you Learn?" One-Liner additionally can reassure YOU as the parent that you can:

  • FOCUS on what your child said they learned from their mistakes
  • LET GO of your focus on the actual mistake itself.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford

As an encouragement, one human parent to another, I invite you to parent your own self with this One-Liner!  The next time YOU make a mistake, take a deep breath and ask yourself, "What did you Learn?" 

If you have any questions about how to use One-Liners in parenting or to begin a Coaching Group Class or One-on-One Coaching Program (online or in person), please click the blue bar at the top of this page (Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Session with Hannah).  

Up next in the One-Liners for parents series: "That's One Way to Look at it."

Catch up on previous posts in the series here (and scroll down).

Happy Parenting!

 

 

One-Liners: Car Rules

As if parenting wasn't difficult enough, sometimes it's necessary to be confined with your children in a vehicle in order to get where you need to go!

The car is a unique space where any irritation or conflict arising feels suddenly amplified. There's no escaping when you are in the car!

Additionally, parents are also without the usual intervention resources such as time-out chairs, game controllers to confiscate, or rooms to send them (or your own self) to! 

Have you found yourself saying the following while driving?:

  • "Knock it off back there!"
  • "I've already told you how far it is til we get there!"
  • "It's way too loud in here! I can't hear myself think!"
  • "Stop fighting!"
  • "Don't make me pull this car over!"

Most parents don't want to parent from current energy level or mood, but instead to parent with a thoughtful plan. On the fly, however, it is difficult to think of helpful ways to handle situations.

Having a go-to list of "One-Liners" to say at opportune parenting moments is a tool that helps meet that goal (of parenting with a plan) and save your strength despite the specific parenting challenges you face.  I currently parent kids with diagnoses ranging from ADD, dyslexia, Crohn's disease, PTSD, early trauma, and plain ol' everyday adolescence and am grateful for all the tools I can get my hands on! 

As a Parent and Family Coach, I have had the opportunity to teach other parents about using One-Liners effectively.  This series is a compilation of 15 of my favorite parenting One-Liners. 

"Car Rules" is a One-Liner for you as parents to say when you are in the vehicle and you want to cue your child(ren) that it is

  • time to stop talking
  • time to mind their own selves (until further notice). 

Don't get me wrong: there are wonderful moments in the car of giggling and connective conversation BECAUSE you are confined together.  It can be a beautiful opportunity to sing together, tell Knock-Knock jokes, and eat french fries from the drive through.  

Some of my most treasured memories were listening to my children play with their Rescue Heroes action figures and Polly Pockets dolls in the backseat.  These are times where you wouldn't want to say "Car Rules. 

There are however, moments where: 

  • the traffic is terrible and requires your extra focus (or in my case you are totally lost because you have no-sense-of-direction!)
  • someone has a migraine or isn't feeling well
  • you need to take a bluetooth call
  • there's WAY too much complaining
  • they are fighting over an activity or toy
  • you want to be able to talk specifically to one child uninterrupted
  • you and another adult are trying to have a conversation
  • the bickering is over the top and they have forgotten that having a sibling to talk to/play with is a privilege.

Saying "Car Rules" to them (in these scenarios) is a respectful, clear, and direct parenting statement. 

When spoken in a calm, non-sarcastic tone, "Car Rules" can be a helpful reminder to your child that:

  • it is important to speak with respect and kindness
  • quiet and silence is OK
  • safety comes first
  • it is a privilege to have someone to talk with (I MAY have grounded my children before from talking to each other for a time in a desperate attempt to drive this point home!)
  • adult conversation is important
  • sometimes there are others with needs greater than yours at the moment
  • taking turns is a part of life

it can also help them have less anxiety knowing that there is a clear plan for behaviors in the car.  

The details of "Car Rules" have been previously laid out by you at a time when:

  • you were not already in the car,
  • no one was in a fight-flight-freeze response
  • no one felt like they were "in-trouble."

Explaining ahead of time is called "pre-teaching" and is an additional tool used in a multitude of situations including laying out expectations for the grocery store, restaurant, or public restroom use!

Before you use One-Liners as a parent, caregiver, or teacher, it is important to emphasize that these are NEVER said in sarcastic or angry tones.  They are not meant to control your child or to be antagonistic in flavor (though you certainly cannot ultimately control how your child may react to being parented).  

One-Liners are ONLY to be said after taking a deep breath and spoken with an attitude of calm kindness, despite your child's current attitude and behavior choices.

Having go-to planned One-Liner phrases can serve to keep YOU as parent from spiraling into disconnect (your own fight-flight-freeze responses that come courtesy of being human!).

If you have any questions about how to use One-Liners in parenting or to begin a Coaching Group Class or One-on-One Coaching Program, please click the blue bar at the top of this page (Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Session with Hannah).  

Up next in the One-Liners for parents series: "What did you Learn?"  

Catch up on previous One-Liners in the series here.

Happy Parenting!

One-Liners: Asked and Answered

Keeping it real here. Parenting can be exhausting.

Currently in my home I am parenting kids with diagnoses ranging from ADD, dyslexia, Crohn's disease, PTSD, early trauma, and plain ol' everyday adolescence! 

I don't want to parent from my current mood or energy level, but instead to parent with a plan. Having a go-to list of "One-Liners" to say at opportune parenting moments is a tool that helps me meet that goal and save my strength.  

As a Parent and Family Coach, I have helped other parents learn about and use One-Liners effectively as well.  This series is a compilation of 15 of my favorite One-Liners.

Before you use One-Liners as a parent, caregiver, or teacher, it is important to emphasize that these are NEVER said in sarcastic or angry tones.  

They are ONLY to be said after taking a deep breath and looking into your children's eyes with kindness, despite their current behavior choice.

"Asked and answered" is a One-Liner for you as parents to say when your child has (usually repeatedly) been asking about or for something that you have already given your response to.    

For example:

  • When can I watch TV?
  • Why can't I use that?
  • How come they get to do that and I don't?
  • Can I ride my bike around the block (out of sight)?
  • Or something else...

As long as you have clearly explained your answer at least once, then out comes this One-Liner: "Asked and answered, (Sweetie, Pumpkin, Snuggs)."  

Repeating yourself as a parent is exhausting for you and it doesn't help your children to:

  • be good listeners
  • respect the answers of those with the authority to direct them (ie parents, teachers, police officers, etc). 

Saying to them "Asked and Answered" is a respectful, clear, and direct parenting statement. 

When spoken in a calm, non-sarcastic tone, it can be a helpful reminder to your child that it is respectful to accept "No" for an answer and that wearing a parent down with repeated asking is NOT an effective strategy.

Having go-to planned phrases can also serve to keep you as parent from spiraling into further frustration (or other fight-flight-freeze responses).

If you have any questions about how to use One-Liners in parenting or to begin a Coaching Group Class or One-on-One Coaching Program, please click the blue bar at the top of this page (Schedule a Free 30 Minute Discovery Session with Hannah).  

Up next in the One-Liners for parents series: "Car Rules."

Happy Parenting!