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Parents Of Toddlers Need These 3 Short Phrases!

Not understanding how to promote empathy may lead to years of regret.

Promoting empathy reduces violence. If we don't think about this until our kids are in elementary school, it can be too late. If you're the parent of a toddler, the time is now.

This is because of early brain development and science.

I know because I'm an early childhood educator with a couple of college degrees and 43 years of real experience with children and families. But still, you know your own child better than I do, hands-down.

But here's one of the most important things you may need to know as a parent.

Your words matter. They can diffuse or intensify any situation. They can create havoc or they can create peace.

I've spent over 40 years trying to find the right way to say things to help young children listen to me and maybe even be OK with it.

Here are my top 3 power phrases.

Be gentle

Be safe

That was helpful!

These phrases are pro-active, clear, and very effective. As a parent, you'll know how much extra explanation is needed for your own child according to their developmental level.

Over the years I've discovered a special way to make my words easier for kids to listen to. I make any direct request I give a child 50% more effective by starting with a verb. Why? Because verbs are action words and kids are action-oriented people. Try it!

say "Hand me the flower" instead of "Don't eat the flower"


"Walk around the puddle" instead of "Don't jump in the puddle"

Want more ideas for toddlers and families? I have plenty including lots of really practical ideas about sleep.

Want more of the exact words to say to get your kids to listen and like it?

Great, let's connect now! (it's free and you get my slideshow as a gift!)

Nanci J Bradley is an early childhood and family educator, author, teacher, SELF-care facilitator, family aerobics instructor, and an all-around fun-loving person. She believes in the power of sleep, healthy eating, lifelong learning, and most of all, PLAY! She studied early childhood ed at Triton College and received her BS in education in 1986 from NIU. She received her MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in 2011. She lives and teaches in Madison WI.

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