What We Say VS What We Mean

As parents, teachers, and caregivers, it’s easy to reach levels of frustration quickly with our kiddos.

Sometimes, this comes from a place of wanting the best for our kids…

Sometimes it comes from wanting to keep them safe…

And if we’re being truly honest here…

Sometimes, it comes from lack of clarity and attention on OUR part…


Until all hell breaks loose, and we lose it… often times, from embarassment.

While near the water play area at the children’s museum yesterday, a parent drew quite a bit of attention by pulling her young child close and yelling…


Now, I totally feel this…

We’ve all reached overload as caregivers, and I sympathize.


Is the kiddo really going to fall and get hurt because they’re not listening to mom?


They’re going to fall and maybe get hurt because there is a slippery wet floor, and they’re going too fast.

Now, the point of this is not to pick on this parent…

She could very well be a lovely mom who was having a rough day.

It happens.

The point however, is to become more aware of how we are as caregivers with our sweet kids, and what we’re REALLY trying to say VS what sometimes comes out.

With kids, we must be clear and specific with what we want them to do.

(Heck, this helps in marriages, too ;)).

We so often ASSUME our young kiddos “just know”…

But let’s ASSUME that they don’t.

A good reminder never hurts, right?

Instead, from the get-go… have a conversation…

“Do you see that water on the floor? It’s slippery… and if we go too fast, we could slip and fall. What do you think we should do to make sure we don’t fall and get hurt?”

Ask questions. Elicit discussion. Let the kiddos think!

When we approach these situations with compassion and curiosity, and when the solutions come from our kiddos, they will be much more likely to stay safe, and “listen” in the future.

They’ll have made that connection that water can be slippery… and when we aren’t careful… we could fall and get hurt... therefore, slowing themselves down without us saying a word anytime they see water on the floor.


Now, is there a possibility this parent had already had “the conversation” prior to this occurrence, and the kiddo is still not being cautious?


In that case, maybe it’s time for a calm and clear warning, and if that doesn’t work, time to move on to something else.

Moving on after a warning is another effective way to help kids second guess their actions in the future.

If you want the best in any situation; be clear, be specific, be consistent, and follow through.

I promise if you do this, your kiddos will catch on sooner rather than later…

And it’ll cause YOU a lot less stress and work in the long run.

Published by Laurel Valdez

I'm a mama of three, teacher by degree(s), and a dual-certified health & life coach. I am EXTREMELY passionate about helping those with a history of disordered eating make peace with food, their bodies, and their minds as they embark on their health and wellness journeys. Having spent over 20+ years of being a disordered eater myself, I have firsthand experience with the power behind awareness, experimentation, patience, a strong mindset, and accountability. You are not alone, My Friends... and you're in good hands. We’re in this together! 💞 Follow me on Instagram @LaurelVCoaching!

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