Power 2 Parent
Published: August 1, 2019

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.-Peggy O’Mara

By Erin Phillips, Power2Parent

What’s the first thing our children hear from us in the morning? Do they feel greeted with cheer and optimism, or do they feel hurried along to get to school on time? When our children get home from school do we tell them we missed them, or do we chastise them for getting dirty at recess?  What’s the last thing our children hear from us at the end of the day?

If we forget to praise our children for the good we see them do, we may find that the only feedback they get from us is when something needs to be fixed. Children and adolescents interpret this kind of feedback as something is wrong with them. They then internalize these negative labels and begin to see themselves as “not good enough.”

​None of us is a perfect parent. Sometimes we might get upset or yell. Sometimes we are going to be rushed, and sometimes we are going to let our frustration show. But, according to Affective Neuroscientist, Jaak Panksepp, there is a way to make up for the times when we’re not on our best parenting behavior. Panksepp says there are 3 key times during the day that have the biggest impact on children and if we can have positive interactions during these times, it will have a substantial impact on their emotional well-being.

The 9 most important minutes of a child’s day are:

  • the first 3 minutes of their day-right after they wake up
  • the 3 minutes after they come home from daycare or school
  • the last 3 minutes of the day–right before they go to bed.

Having meaningful conversations with our children during these times and giving specific praise not only helps our children feel loved, but it also lays the foundation for what they think about themselves.

“Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.”- Brooke Hampton

Thank you Earl Plastic Surgery for sponsoring this message.