How to Say It



Communicating with your child involves more than the words and phrases you use. What you are saying will be more effective if you:

  • Try to speak to your child in a pleasant tone of voice, instead of an angry one.
  • Speak in a light conversational tone instead of yelling. If you do end up yelling, apologize to your child.
  • Take the time to really communicate with your child, instead of rushing through a conversation.
  • Devote your full attention to your child when she is talking to you, and try not to let your mind wander.
  • Use facial expressions that correspond to the words you’re speaking and the emotions you’re feeling.
  • Let your love and respect for your child guide your words and actions.
  • Let the responsibility of being a parent be reflected in your willingness to take control when it’s necessary.
  • Smile more often than you frown.
Excepted from “Words to Parent By,” March 1999, in Our Children, the official magazine of the National PTA.